St George Illawarra women vow to keep fighting despite mounting injury toll

Anguish: Kezie Apps suffered a medial ligament injury in Saturday's loss. Picture: NRL Imagery/Gregg Porteous.
Anguish: Kezie Apps suffered a medial ligament injury in Saturday's loss. Picture: NRL Imagery/Gregg Porteous.

St George Illawarra will have less than a week to regroup after a brutal loss to the Broncos on Saturday.

The 18-4 defeat put an end to the side's grand final hopes, the Dragons to play the Warriors next weekend in a dead rubber.

The loss also came with a heavy toll, Kezie Apps and Isabelle Kelly leaving the game with serious leg injuries, while Maddie Studdon and Jess Sergis both played through ankle complaints.

Kelly's injury drew plenty of attention from onlookers, Amber Hall grabbing the centre by the hair before dragging her down awkwardly from behind.

Hall faces a nervous wait to find out whether she faces a suspension, with the NRL to announce charges on Monday.

St George Illawarra coach Daniel Lacey expressed his displeasure with the tackle when asked about it post-match.

"I've coached women's footy for a while and I've coached a lot of young girls. When you pull someone's hair, you let go. You don't go on with it.

"I don't think it's a reportable offence by the rules, but you've seen the consequences of what's happened.

"I've lost my best player, my best outside back. She's shattered. She's in a moon boot.

"Just let go, that's all that needs to be said."

Apps is set to undergo further scans, however initial indications are she has a medial ligament injury.

The Dragons were without Australian representative Shakiah Tungai for Saturday's clash, the five-eighth succumbing to a shoulder injury suffered in last week's loss to the Roosters.

Tungai's injury saw Keeley Davis shift from hooker to five-eighth, a move that only became final late in the week.

The 20-year-old acknowledged the constant changes have made it difficult for her side to click in the short NRLW season.

"It's been super tough, we've had some big injuries in key positions," Davis said. "It's not unlike any of the other teams, it's just a part of footy.

"A part of being a good player is being adaptable, so I think we can't use that as an excuse. Every team goes through it. It's hard, but I think we're good enough to put that past us and adapt."

With the Roosters also defeating the Warriors on Saturday, the grand final fixture has been set with one round still to play.

Sydney will take on Brisbane in a bid to end the Broncos two-year stranglehold on the trophy.

The decider was a match the Dragons featured in 12 months ago and Davis said it will be tough to watch the two sides face off at ANZ Stadium in a fortnight.

"It hurts. It's going to be super tough to cop, especially watching the grand final and just knowing that we are 100% good enough to be there. That's the worst thing.

"I think we'll learn a lot from this game and this season. Our job's not done, next week we have to win. We're not going out coming last, so we're going to go in next week and put it together and I think we've just got to keep building."

This story St George Illawarra women keep fighting despite mounting injury toll first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.