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Smile and error: Broncos into decider but Wright rues mistake rate

Reigning champions Brisbane have booked a date with the Sydney Roosters in the NRL Telstra Women's Premiership grand final after overcoming the Dragons 18-4 in a drama-packed clash on Saturday.

The Broncos did it the hard way en route to their second victory of the season against a gallant Dragons outfit who lost Kezie Apps and Isabelle Kelly to serious leg injuries.

A ferocious second half saw Broncos forward Amber Hall pull the hair of Kelly in an ugly incident, before a hip-drop style tackle saw the star centre immediately scream in pain.

Ali Brigginshaw (dangerous contact) and Shaylee Bent (crusher tackle) were both placed on report soon after in further concerns for both clubs.

The incidents overshadowed the on-field performance between the two sides but the result ensures the Broncos will feature on the big stage again – this time against the Roosters – at ANZ Stadium.

Brisbane proved too good for their 2019 grand final opponents with tries to Julia Robinson and Millie Boyle handing them a 12-0 lead after 30 minutes and a late try to Lauren Brown but coach Kelvin Wright wasn't getting carried away.

"As a performance, I wasn't very pleased," he said.

"I thought there was just too many errors. The start of the game I thought we created plenty of opportunities but we just pushed it too early.

"I just our end-of-sets were quite poor as well. We didn't really get to our kick much and our choices weren't great.

"But I was really pleased with the defensive side today because we did put ourselves under pressure a lot. I thought the team and players kept turning up."

Offloads at the line hands Robinson the opener

The Dragons' inspirational leader Apps left the field in the 28th minute with a knee injury that could put her State of Origin selection hopes in doubt next month.

Early indications have cleared Apps of an ACL rupture but the Dragons back-rower will need scans for a suspected medial ligament injury.

Studdon and Jessica Sergis battled on with their own leg injuries and the Broncos were next to cop a battering with Lavinia Gould, Jayme Fressard and Tamika Upton picking up injuries. 

"Obviously really pleased about [making the grand final]," Wright said.

"They do work really hard. I suppose it's good to have that comfort of knowing next week that we are going to the grand final. Hopefully, they'll be right for the grand final."

Sergis got the Dragons on the board in the second half but a clumsy effort from Jaime Chapman in attempting to place the ball on the try line for the side's second cost them momentum.

Front-rowers in open space alert!

Sergis got the Dragons on the board in the second half but a clumsy effort from Jaime Chapman in attempting to place the ball on the try line for the side's second cost them momentum.

A darting effort from Lauren Brown out of dummy-half extended the Broncos' lead late to all but end the Dragons' short campaign.

With so much expectation coming into the third season, Dragons coach Daniel Lacey lamented falling short on last year's results.

"I don't have the answers for why it just didn't click and click early but I came in today knowing that we've prepped well so we've done well," Lacey said.

"You could throw a whole list of things that could've, would've [made a difference] like Jaime Chapman putting it down, the Tiana Penitani ankle tap, to the stop dummies in the middle as well.

"A lot of girls in there are in their first couple of years. It's a shame - you'd love them to come into their first win a premiership in their debut year, but they've had to learn the hard way.

"Either way you're learning. They'll be so much better for the run."

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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