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Broncos finish atop Dragons in NRLW season finale

The Dragons fell to the Broncos 46-12 in their final NRLW outing of 2023 at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Saturday night.

The night ended in subdued fashion for the Dragons with star five-eighth Tyla Nathan-Wong stretchered from the field late due to a neck issue.

A second-half Teagan Berry pearler saw the fullback finish atop Broncos powerhouse Mele Hufanga – who scored a double of her own – in the premiership’s total try tally at the close of the regular season.

It took Dragons debutant Ellie Williamson only 16 minutes to notch her maiden four-pointer before fellow debutant Charlotte Basham joined her on the field for her first taste of NRLW action just nine days on from her 18th birthday.

The clash also marked the final outing of Renee Targett’s NRLW career after the 28-year-old announced her retirement during the week.

The encounter began in a less than ideal manner for the hosts with their opening kick-off sailing into touch on the full.

An early Destiny Brill break put the visitors on the attack, but a brave scrambling sequence saw the Dragons stunt the raid.

A further period of sustained pressure saw Julia Robinson snag the opening points of the contest courtesy of a Tazmin Gray cut-out to make it 4-0.

A Nathan-Wong intercept shifted momentum for the Red V before the five-eighth backed up her effort with a sublime short ball to Williamson who surged through a hole to dive over for the first try of her NRLW career.

Raecene McGregor’s conversion squeaked through the sticks to give the Dragons a two-point edge.

A botched kick-off reception gifted possession to the Broncos and Brill obliged burrowing her way over out of dummy-half to wrestle the lead back the way of the visitors.

A penalty piggybacked the Broncos back upfield with Ali Brigginshaw scoring off a pair of her own kicks to extend the lead to double-digits.

The Broncos grabbed their fourth of the opening stanza late through Hufanga who powered her way through off the hip of Hayley Maddick as the visitors took a 22-6 lead into the intermission.

Robinson grabbed her second early in the second period off a left-side shift and Gray draw-and-pass as the lead ballooned beyond a trio of converted tries.

Hufanga also found a second the corresponding possession crashing through off a neat short-ball courtesy of Gayle Broughton.

The Dragons answered with a beauty courtesy of Teagan Berry who outpaced several Broncos to reel in a McGregor kick off a scrum from inside their own half to race away and dive over for her 11th try of the season.

A Shenae Ciesiolka try ended the Dragons fightback attempt with matters made worse for the Dragons in the aftermath as Nathan-Wong was stretchered from the field.

Ciesiolka grabbed her second shortly after before Robinson nabbed her third via a near length-of-the-field intercept in the dying stages as the visitors ran away 46-12 victors.

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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