Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Origin captain Kezie Apps has praised the leadership of her Dragons co-captain Sam Bremner after the star fullback made a welcome return from pregnancy.
Bremner was arguably the Dragons best player in their 18-4 defeat to the Sydney Roosters in the opening week of the NRLW, producing one try-assist, six tackle-breaks and 89 metres.
She has been revered as one of the most decorated female Rugby League players in recent years, representing NSW since 2011 while also captaining the Australian Jilaroos.
Apps, who captained NSW to back-to-back Origin series victories in 2019, couldn’t speak highly enough of Bremner and praised the profound impact she has had on her team-mates on and off the field.
“It’s very special to be captain alongside her,” Apps told NSWRL.com.au.
“Sammy as a person is beautiful, and Sammy as an athlete – she is the hardest worker that I have ever come across.
“Just her presence around the team and her approach to her game is awesome, and now I get the privilege to be co-captain with her and share the responsibility.
“As captain, sometimes there is a lot asked of you and you have to do your best to lead the girls, but I can share that with her and we bounce things off each other.
“It’s very special.”
The Dragons were touted as early premiership favourites ahead of the 2020 season with a star-studded line-up that boasts representative stars such as Apps, Isabelle Kelly, Jess Sergis, Stephanie Hancock, Tiana Penitani, and Maddie Studdon.
While their loss in Round 1 surprised fans, Apps says there has been no shortage of belief given the club has endured similar campaigns in the past two years.
“This is what has happened every year, we all seem to be finding our feet and the occasion for a lot of these girls was massive as it was their first game in the NRLW,” she said.
“Just the excitement around it was pretty massive so I guess that may have played a part, but it always happens where we start a bit slow.
“It’s happened the last two years where build from now and the girls are getting really excited.
“We get the chance to make things better starting this week against the Broncos.”
The Dragons will be looking to avenge their 30-6 defeat to the Broncos in last year’s Grand Final when they go head-to-head on Saturday at Bankwest Stadium.
Apps admits some defensive lapses in the second-half against the Roosters proved costly and their do-or-die fixture against the premiers gives them the perfect chance to get their season back on track.
“Looking back, we just didn’t capitalise on our opportunities, and they (Roosters) just kept getting a roll on,” she said.
“There were some little defensive things based around effort that are easy things to fix as-well.
“We’ve only really had one week together to prepare due to COVID-19 and we’ve had very limited time together to get our cohesion, get all our plays right and sort out our game plan
“It’s been a bit tough, but it’s definitely there and we can build on it.”