Only the start: Kezie Apps hopeful for NRL women's future after St George Illawarra's 2019 grand final defeat

Picture: Chris Lane
Picture: Chris Lane

Kezie Apps has called for a longer NRL women's season following St George Illawarra's 30-6 defeat to Brisbane in the NRLW grand final on Sunday.

More than 36,000 spectators were inside ANZ Stadium for the women's decider as the reigning and inaugural champions Brisbane made it back to back premierships.

The Dragons battled a crippling injury toll as well as the slick Broncos with St George Illawarra outclassed on the big day, leaving them still chasing their maiden women's title.

Dragons captain Apps, who scored St George Illawarra's only try, was positive about what the large crowd meant for women's rugby league and hoped it would be used to build more interest in the competition and a longer season, with teams only playing three regular season games before the grand final.

"That was a big step from last year. I know the two teams that were in the grand final last year played really early and there wasn't really anyone there to watch them," she said.

"To have it today at four o'clock it was a massive step forward for the game to have so many people coming in to watch us play. It might even have been their first time watching women's rugby league. [I] apologise that our game wasn't the best that we could probably play but they still got a taste of what the women's rugby league could be. Hopefully they buy into it and want to watch more of it.

"We'd love to have a longer competition so we can actually showcase what this team is really capable of. Today I thought was going to be the day of that but it didn't go our way today. The more time we spend together the better footy we get to play. Hopefully next year that is on the cards."

Consolation: Kezie Apps celebrates after scoring the Dragons' only try. Picture: Chris Lane

Consolation: Kezie Apps celebrates after scoring the Dragons' only try. Picture: Chris Lane

Dragons coach Daniel Lacey was disappointed his young team failed to rise to the occasion.

"The stats really don't lie. And I don't need to bring them up. It was obvious. We got outplayed," he said.

"It's just the big game experience and I've got a young team there, average age of 23. So we can't find any positives now but [after] 24 hours don't worry about that I'll be over it and looking towards next year.

"I'm really proud of this club and what it represents, especially in the women's space... some clubs don't want to put their hands up. But we are, so we look forward to the review [of the season]. We did a review last year, we came last last year now we're in a grand final. So that's what we'll be doing next year, going one better."

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