Anything can happen in finals football, and according to Sydney Roosters centre Jess Sergis, it's the perfect opportunity to create history.
The Roosters will take on long-standing rivals the Brisbane Broncos in the NRLW's very first finals series on Sunday afternoon, with the winner advancing to the 2021 Grand Final in what is expected to be a close affair.
Match: Broncos v Roosters
Semi Final -
Venue: Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
For Sergis - who has tasted success at International and State of Origin level - an NRLW Premiership has been the magnum opus that has eluded her glitter career.
But following the side's courageous showing last week, she has every bit of confidence knowing the Tricolours can reach another decider and take the crown.
“We had a pretty slow start to the season which I think gave us a bit of a kick and made us realise we needed to gel quickly,” Sergis said.
“Having those two losses was a wake-up call that we needed, and I think we’ve been getting better and better each week.
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“Losing by only six points in our last game showed our progress, it was a bit of an unlucky loss. We’ve been gelling really nicely together.
“Despite the loss, we’re positive heading into this week and we’re going to take the opportunity with both hands. We’re not just going to let this week come by.
“Our confidence is quite high at the moment.”
With a relatively young side that includes a number of players who made their NRLW debut in Round 1 - ironically the side's last match against the Broncos - the experienced centre believes that the extended competition has allowed for more week-to-week growth within the side.
Now in the competition's first semi-finals series, the Jillaroos star believes that it will bring another level of intensity and excitement for both clubs and supporters alike.
Despite the loss, we’re positive heading into this week and we’re going to take the opportunity with both hands. We’re not just going to let this week come by.Jess Sergis On this week's finals match
“We’ve got a squad where we really turn up for each other,” she said.
“Each week our flow has been better and I think that’s the perk of having an extended competition, we have that time and opportunity to work on the things we weren’t so great at.
“Girls like Keilee Joseph, she’s come from our pathways and made the step up this year and has been one of the best players each game. Her attitude and the way she turns up to play is great for us. It shows that those opportunities to gel are really paying off.
“In previous years with the Broncos making the Grand Final, it’s just been that one game and it’s allowed them to put everything into that. Having a finals series means everyone will be putting everything on the line and that’s when the big moments will happen.
“With a semi-final match, the teams will be giving everything that they have because they still have that Grand Final to get to. It’ll add plenty of excitement for us and it’ll be more fun to watch for the fans who will get two finals games before the Grand Final.
“It’s something for every club to fight for. Anything can happen in a finals series and that’s what’s so exciting.”
Both Sergis and the Roosters are familiar with challenging the Broncos for the title, with the Club qualifying for the 2018 and 2020 Grand Finals, with the strike centre lining up against Brisbane for the Dragons in the 2019 decider.
Sergis Puts the Nail in the Coffin
But with a side that has made a meteoric rise in growth and maturity over the season, Sergis is confident that the Red, White and Blue will be singing the team song come fulltime.
“We played them in our first round and I was quite impressed with our defence in that game,” Sergis stated.
“We know what to do, we know where their strike comes from and we know how they play. For us to win, we’ve just got to shut that down.
“They’re definitely beatable and there are a lot of positives we took from Round 1, it’s going to be a big match up on Sunday.
"But I’m confident that if we hold the ball and play our best football then it’ll be a very close game.”