Broncos maintain perfect record after outclassing Roosters
A five-star performance from captain Ali Brigginshaw has propelled the Broncos to favouritism in the inaugural Holden Women's Premiership following a 14-4 victory over the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.
The Broncos halfback was everywhere, leading her side to their second victory inside five days to leave the star-studded Tricolours winless.
The victory all but secures a spot in the grand final for Brisbane come September 30 at ANZ Stadium.
Brigginshaw finished with a try, a line break, a line break assist, three tackle breaks and made 23 tackles, while also running 68 metres with the ball.
Brisbane star recruit Teuila Fotu-Moala and centre Meg Ward scored the Broncos' two other tries but it was their defence which won them the game, holding the Roosters scoreless until the death.
For the Roosters the night didn't go to plan as they were left with their second loss in the competition and a couple of injury concerns.
Prop Ruan Sims will have to undergo x-rays after playing on with a suspected broken thumb, which means she'll be in doubt for the rest of the competition and for the Jillaroos Test against the Kiwi Ferns in October 13, and captain Simaima Taufa is left battling a knee injury.
"There's a concern for Simaima," Roosters coach Adam Hartigan said.
Match: Roosters vs Broncos
Round 2 -
Venue: Allianz Stadium
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"There's a chance that Ruan broke her thumb in the first 10 minutes of the game and played on. We won't know until we get an X-ray, but a part from that we seem to be OK."
The Broncos entered the clash feeling confident after a convincing 30-4 win St George Illawarra Dragons last start.
And with the effort they displayed in their win over the Roosters at Allianz Stadium, Broncos coach Paul Dyer said what's most promising about their second victory is seeing further improvement from last week.
"One thing I've been most proud about this group is that from the day they came together there's just been a real continual improvement in everything that we do," Dyer said.
"Defensively they kept turning up for each other. That helps build the culture inside the group, when you have every simple player out there working really hard for each other.
"There were some really good performances out there today as well from some girls that have never played at this level against opposition players who are at the peak of their power."
The hosts were close to claiming the first points of the match on two occasions, but some solid Broncos defence saw second-rower Vanessa Foliaki held up in touch and moments later Katrina Brown couldn't quite ground a Zahara Temara grubber.
It wasn't until the 21st minute that a show and go just metres out from the Roosters line saw halfback Brigginshaw open the scoring.
At that point fatigue began to set in, with nine errors conceded by both sides after a torrid opening.
Brisbane's second try was just three minutes from halftime when pivot Kimiora Nati fed Fotu-Moala, who bulldozed her away past several would be defenders for a 10-0 scoreline going into the break.
Five minutes into the second stanza the Broncos almost went over for a third unanswered try, but front-rower Chloe Caldwell scrambled well to force a knock on.
But the visitors weren't to be denied, with a Meg Ward four pointer sealing the result for Paul Dyer's team.
Roosters centre Isabelle Kelly crashed over in the corner late to add some respectability to the end scoreline.
The Broncos will head to Melbourne for their round three clash against the New Zealand Warriors, who claimed the first defeat over the Roosters last Saturday with a 10-4 victory at ANZ Stadium.
Dyer said the Broncos will be expecting nothing less than a tough challenge in the Warriors.
"The Warriors are what we always knew they would be - every time you play against a side from New Zealand there a big tough side that just love playing footy," Dyer said.
"You have to play a certain way against them and if you don't do that than you're going to make life really tough for yourself.
"They're uncompromising and they did that against the Roosters the other week.
"We have some quality players that haven't had a run in this competition yet so I'm really excited to potentially give them a chance to play there next week in Melbourne."