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Unbeaten Broncos charge into NRLW grand final

Skipper Ali Brigginshaw has led the Broncos on an undefeated march to the inaugural NRL Women's premiership grand final, putting the Warriors to the sword in a 32-10 rout at AAMI Park.

Brigginshaw was instrumental both with and without the ball before earning an early breather, laying on two tries for Brisbane, while Julia Robinson also bagged a flying double out wide.

The Warriors' season is now over with the heavy defeat trashing their points differential, while the Dragons and Roosters square off on Saturday in what is effectively a grand final qualifier at Allianz Stadium.

While Brigginshaw and livewire hooker Brittany Breayley called the shots from the outset, the Broncos are confident Kiwi international Maitua Feterika will be fit for next Sunday's decider.

The bullocking back-rower was carried from the field in distress with a knee injury after going down without any contact from a defender, but was cleared of ligament damage before full-time.

"She's (Feterika) going to be okay. It gave her a little bit of a fright but I don't think it's anywhere near as bad as they first thought," coach Paul Dyer said after he had benched his star playmakers with the contest won.

"My mindset went straight away to trying to make sure our spine was off the field. If you lose some quality players it makes the job all the more difficult next week.

"Once I knew we were in a position to do that we started to get some of those girls out of the action.

"I was really proud of their effort tonight. We certainly didn't play our best footy in patches, but they've got such a wonderful camaraderie as a group.

"As a coach that's the thing that gives you the most pleasure out, that when the times are tough, they will keep digging in for each other."

It was the Warriors who opened the scoring, Broncos custodian Chelsea Baker spilling an early grubber straight into the bread basket of opposing prop Aieshaleigh Smalley.

Despite a crunching try-saver on her goal line from Apii Nicholls, Brisbane hit back in quick time as Rona Peters crashed over from the very next tackle.

A bit of Broncos rope-a-dope from a 10-metre scrum then put them ahead 10-6, with Brigginshaw catching the Warriors short down their blind side for Robinson to cross untouched.

"It's one we'd been practising, but you've got to take your opportunities," Brigginshaw said.

"They were talking that we were going to do it, but they didn't defend it.

"We told our winger to stay out there and pretend we weren't going to go that way. That's why we train that move. They talked about it but still worked."

The tit for tat continued though when Warriors No.7 Georgia Hale crossed in the corner, an attempted intercept from Karley Te Kawa only putting it on a platter for the Kiwi side to level up.

Te Kawa made amends soon enough when she was on the end of a Broncos overlap, with Breayley doubling down by streaking out of dummy-half for a 50-metre try straight after the break.

Out the other side of a Brigginshaw try-saver on her own line, the Broncos then put it beyond doubt with a Kody House try beyond belief – the Jillaroos speedster somehow getting a hand to a speculative cross-field punt inches inside the dead-ball line.

Robinson was next across the line in style at the 45th minute, taking a flying leap over the defence for a 16-0 second-half shut-out.

"It was disappointing, especially seeing how well we were doing in the first half, the momentum the team had built up," Warriors coach Luisa Avaiki said.

"The effort is there but it sometimes just comes from one bad decision and accumulates, and hard to bounce back from those. We knew they were a quality side and did believe we could match the Broncos in areas of the field. You give them those opportunities and they'll use them against any opposition."

Warriors captain Laura Mariu said a lack of structure proved decisive.

"At times we went away from the game plan and getting the kick done," Mariu said.

"(We weren't) necessarily trying to score tries off every set, but went away from that unfortunately which bit us in the butt."

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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