Some of the biggest names in the NRLW premiership have dropped like flies in brutal encounter between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons.
The Broncos came away with the 18-4 win and will face the Sydney Roosters in the NRLW Grand Final but it was the injuries that stole all the headline.
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The Broncos were leading 12-0 after 22 minutes but just before the break, Dragons and NSW star Kezie Apps went from the field three minutes from halftime.
She twisted as she hit the line but was walked from the field.
It was a bad sight although Apps came into the tournament with a niggling injury.
News emerged later that it didn‘t seem to be an ACL, rather a medial knee injury, although scans will be required.
Kezie Apps was the first to go.Source:FOX SPORTS
But it was early in the second half that drew plenty of ire.
After the Dragons scored early in the second half to make it 12-4, centre Isabelle Kelly took a scoot out of dummy half but Broncos second rower Amber Hall reached out to make a tackle from marker.
She ended up pulling Kelly‘s hair and then falling on the Dragons’ ankle.
Kelly was in immediate pain and inconsolable as the trainers tended to her injury.
“Oh no, the full body weight of Amber Hall on the ankle of Isabelle Kelly,” Braith Anasta said on Fox League.
“She‘s in a world of pain. She’s done, she’s gone.”
Women‘s rugby league legend Tarsha Gale said the hair pull, while it looked bad, was just accidental.
“It‘s never really a deliberate hair pull, it’s just not in our game,” she said.
“But you saw Issy screaming there and it wasn‘t about the hair pull, it was brought about by the full weight on her ankle.”
Watching the replay, Anasta added: “That‘s vicious, that’s a broken ankle right there,” he said.
“To be fair, if Amber Hall doesn‘t pull her hair, I think Isabelle Kelly gets away from her. It’s a pretty poor play there from Hall and Kelly’s paid the price.”
The horror tackle on Isabelle Kelly.Source:FOX SPORTS
Kelly, who was voted the world‘s best player in 2018, was carried off the field.
Commentator Brenton Speed added that “It‘s heartbreaking what we’re seeing for the superstar Dragons in this game.”
Social media weren’t happy with what they saw.
Low blow from Hall with the hair pull 🙅♀️ #NRLW
Distressing amount of injuries for #redv in #NRLW game against Broncos
Throughout the rest of the game, several other players were left on the ground as Anasta labelled it “carnage” with but none were as serious as Kelly and Apps‘ injuries.
Post-match, Dragons captain Sam Bremner reflected on a brutal game.
“It was like 10-pin bowling at one stage everyone was getting knocked down,” she said on ABC Grandstand. “But you only get one chance to playing a team each and the bad thing about that is you don‘t get so many games to build trust and combinations.”
The Broncos put the game beyond reach with four minutes left to send the Brisbane into the grand final as they chase a third straight NRLW Premiership.
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