While Suncorp Stadium may have become a house of horrors for the St George Illawarra men’s team in recent years, for female players such as Kezie Apps, it was the site of a significant triumph last December.
Apps led the Jillaroos to World Cup glory in the final of the Women’s World Cup, with Dragons teammates Talesha Quinn and Annette Brander also in the Australian squad.
St George Illawarra captain Sam Bremner was also at Suncorp Stadium that afternoon, but instead of running around with her Australian teammates, the fullback was watching from the stands having been ruled out with a stress fracture.
Now with the Dragons set to take on the Broncos in their opening round clash of the inaugural NRL Women’s competition, Bremner is looking forward to creating memories of her own on the famed turf.
“It’s the best field and stadium in my opinion, and many other’s opinions, in the world, it’s a great place,” Bremner said. “I said to my husband last night the last time I was at Suncorp I was watching my teammates play in a World Cup final and that broke my heart a bit.
“I’m so excited to get out there and just run around and play some footy on Suncorp.”
Last year’s World Cup final wasn’t the only match Bremner has watched from the sidelines in recent years, with the 27-year-old’s injury struggles well documented.
Having travelled such an arduous journey both injury-wise and as one of the pioneers of women’s rugby league, Bremner can fully appreciate the significance of playing in the NRL.
“It’s easy for me to say this now but the hard times make the better times feel even better. I was at a stage where I was going through all those rough injuries where I was thinking ‘Why am I doing this, I’m setting myself up for failure.’
“This week in particular has been where I thought it’s all worth it. This is why I followed my dreams, I haven’t even played yet and I feel that way. I feel really lucky to be a part of all this.”
Bremner will lead a Dragons team stocked with Illawarra talent and she’s predicting a game plan that will see the team utilise power forwards such as Apps and speedy wingers like Corrimal young gun Rikeya Horne.
“We’ll be using every player to their strengths, which is something that Daniel Lacey has been instilling in us. We’re going to play together, of course, but we’re going to play to our strengths, we have strengths across the park.
“We’ve got some strong runners in our back row and we’ve got some fast backs, we’ve got some really hard working forwards and we’re going to play to those strengths.”