Lavinia Gould has seen it all as a foundation Brisbane Broncos player.
From winning the first two NRWL premierships with the competition powerhouse to missing Brisbane’s third triumph through injury. She’s ridden the rugby league rollercoaster.
So Gould was content to savour the comprehensive 38-4 victory over Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium that catapulted Brisbane to a fourth-consecutive minor premiership before the Broncos turn their attention to this Sunday’s semi-final clash with the Roosters at Leichhardt Oval.
Gould was one of only three survivors from the Broncos side that took on St George Illawarra in Brisbane’s first-ever NRLW fixture in 2018 at the old Lang Park.
The win over the Eels was Brisbane’s first game back at Suncorp Stadium since that day – 1295 days ago.
“It was a pretty special moment to be able to come back home,’’ Gould said.
“To play at home again, it has been a long time and we’ve felt that.
“So to have the opportunity to come back and come back strong (from last week’s loss to Gold Coast) was more to prove something to ourselves.
“And it showed in our performance what it meant for us.
“It’s been an extremely tough competition but it has gone to another level this year. It’s a new week, it’s finals footy, it’s totally different and we’ll look after ourselves as well as we can.’’
Brigginshaw seals the win
Brisbane sent an ominous warning across the bow of the remaining sides in the competition with how they clinically disposed of the Eels who fell out of the top four due to the magnitude of the defeat.
Broncos coach Kelvin Wright said he did not mention the pursuit of the minor premiership once in the build-up to Sunday because it as “not the trophy you set out to win”.
He is confident that if Brisbane bring their best in the finals series, they can seriously challenge for a fourth-straight NRLW crown.
“We have full belief in our squad that when we play to our abilities like we saw today, there’s no reason why we can’t win,’’ Wright said.
“We’ve got to make sure, going into next week we’ll have to be on our A-game. We are going to have to put out the best performance we possibly can to make sure we progress.
“Last week (against the Titans), we certainly weren’t ourselves. We wanted to make sure we expressed ourselves with the sort of football that we can play.’’
Parramatta coach Dean Widders said it was “devastating” to fall out of the top four with the suspected serious knee injury Botille Vette-Walsh only adding to the misery in the Eels camp.
“It really hurts. We just didn’t expect that… to have one of those awful days as a footy team when you just fall apart and things go against you…we sort of didn’t deserve that but that’s the way footy works sometimes,’’ he said.
“She (Vette-Walsh) will get scans. It’s not looking real good which is disappointing for all of women’s rugby league. She’s been such an outstanding player.’’
Vette-Welsh goes down in a crucial blow for the Eels