When Wayne Bennett sailed off into the sunset at the start of the year, finally ending his career with the Broncos, there were many people at Red Hill who were happy to see the back of the master coach.
A hat-trick by Kimiora Nati, including a historic penalty try, has helped Brisbane seal the inaugural NRL Women’s Premiership title with a 34-12 grand final romp over the Sydney Roosters at ANZ Stadium.
The Broncos set a benchmark in the maiden NRLW season that will be hard to match, finishing unbeaten for 2018 with a remarkable 110-30 points differential after four straight victories.
Brisbane five-eighth and Kiwi international Nati was the standout in front of 16,214 fans on Sunday afternoon, crossing three times thanks to the NRLW’s first penalty try.
Nati helped herself to a first-half double as the Broncos cruised to a 28-6 lead by the main break.
She scored a solo try in the sixth minute before nabbing her double 12 minutes later with some assistance from the video referee.
Nati was awarded the 18th-minute try after Roosters winger Taleena Simon kicked the ball out of her hands as the playmaker crashed over off an Ali Brigginshaw grubber.
There was no let-up in the second half as Nati somehow defied three defenders to get the ball down in the 46th minute to clinch her hat-trick and seal the result 34-12.
The Broncos saved their best until last on Sunday, posting their biggest total of the short season and eclipsing their 32-10 effort last round against the Warriors.
Remarkably, no other team managed to score 30 points in a match this year.
In contrast, the Roosters only scraped into the grand final on points differential with one win – a 26-0 blitz of St George Illawarra last week.
The difference in class emerged as Brisbane piled on five tries by the main break, at one stage scoring a point a minute in the 30-minute half.