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St George Illawarra Dragons have made amends for last year's embarrassing NRLW grand final loss to shock the Broncos 28-4 in the women's Nines tournament final at HBF Park.

Brisbane entered the final as heavy favourites after breezing through the regular rounds undefeated but the Dragons had other ideas, claiming the title with a decisive five tries-to-one romp. 

The Dragons aggressively took it to their opponents from the kick-off and the strategy seemed to have the desired effect, as the Broncos struggled to get into the game. 

Dragons halfback Maddie Studdon was crowned player of the tournament after a strong personal campaign. 

She was well supported by co-captains Sam Bremner and Kezie Apps in the final.

"It was a definitely a surprise to win player of the tournament, I don't know what to say about that because so many girls in our team did so many good things," Studdon told 

"We started off slow against the Broncos in the first round, it always seems to happen to us. 

"Even though we don't like to lose it probably wasn't a bad thing to drop the game against the Roosters because it showed where we went wrong and where we could improve our game."

Apps, Isabelle Kelly and Aaliyah Fasavalu-Fa’amausili crossed for tries in the first half to race to a 17-0 lead. 

Another try in the second half through star centre Jessica Sergis extended the lead as the Broncos' completion rate deteriorated under pressure. 

"A 13 percent possession rate didn't help," Broncos captain Ali Brigginshaw said post-game. 

"And in the regular rounds there weren't many penalties and then in the final they were blowing penalties. 

Studdon claims player of the tournament at NRL Nines

"It puts you on the back foot and we didn't know how to come back after defending for so long."

Broncos winger Jayme Fressard got the side on the board late in the clash but a barnstorming effort from Maddison Weatherall sealed the result in front of 14,739 people at the venue. 

"The Broncos have been the team to beat in the NRLW for a couple of years now and were as well in the Nines so it's nice to do it for the first time," Studdon said. 

"I think it made a difference that our forwards matched it with theirs this time and laid a platform."

The Broncos were without Tarryn Aiken for the final with the crafty utility suffering a high ankle sprain in the earlier game against the Warriors.

Meanwhile, four Dragons, three Broncos and two Roosters players made up the women's Team of the Tournament honours including returning international Bremner. 

Women's Team of the Tournament 

  1. Maddie Studdon (Dragons)
  2. Hannah Southwell (Roosters)
  3. Samantha Bremner (Dragons)
  4. Raecene McGregor (Broncos)
  5. Tamika Upton (Broncos)
  6. Chelsea Lenarduzzi (Broncos)
  7. Nita Maynard (Roosters)
  8. Keeley Davis (Dragons)
  9. Kezie Apps (Dragons)
Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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