Anger simmers for grand final showdown
THE battle lines between the Sydney Roosters and Brisbane Broncos were drawn before they became grand final opponents.
A fire still burns from that game two weeks ago when captain Simaima Taufa had her injured knee targeted in tackles by Broncos players.
It was something they considered unsportsmanlike and they are seeking revenge on the scoreboard.
When the two met in Round 2, the Roosters faded as the game wore on, but they are adamant there will be repeat of that as they seek to take the high road and answer underhanded tactics with a superior performance.
"It's pretty bad when your captain is out there and we know what she's going through to be on the field and then to hear what they were saying, it fires you up," hooker Kylie Hilder said
"It is a game, a game that we love, but I wouldn't expect any of our players to be like that.
"There is probably a little bit of anger in our bellies, and fire.
"What it's done is just get us ready and prepared for Sunday. We're ready for battle."
The two teams could not have had more contrasting paths to the decider.
While the Broncos go in undefeated and have had little challenge in their three round games, the Roosters started with two losses and relied on results and a big round three win to secure their place.
It's a rough path that has tested the team's mettle and culture but they are now confident because of what they have overcome.
"We've gone through hell as a team for the last two weeks," Hilder said. "We were tagged with the expectation that we were going to be the gun team, then game one we were terrible, to say it nicely.
"Game two, against the Broncs I thought we were in the game but were a bit unlucky and still weren't playing as a team. Then a few changes and a big heart-to-heart …
"I think that happening the last two weeks has got us to where we are now. But we still know we've got a lot of work to do and a job to do on Sunday."
Experienced campaigner Ruan Sims couldn't agree more.
Not only have the Broncos' tactics from their last meeting rankled the Roosters, but the loss itself has them desperate to reverse the result.
"A lot of fire, I would agree, I think we have a lot of fire in the belly," Sims said.
"We're hungry for this, we want this."
And while playing for the inaugural women's title is a worthy prize for the Roosters, the club is on a high having already created history by being the first to have men's and women's teams featuring on grand final day.
The women haven't allowed themselves to discuss being crowned the inaugural premiers but they are excited about going through the week's festivities as a whole club.
"To be honest (the premiership has) never crossed our minds," Sims said.
"We're very humbled and very excited by the prospect that historically we're the first men and women NRL and NRLW grand finalists from the same club.
"I think it's massive, massive achievement for the club and I'm very proud of that.
"Having a bit of a run down as to what our week looks like and a lot will be shared with our men's side. That is special, not just for us as players, but special for the club and the club's supporters."