Brander prepared to cheer on Jillaroos from sideline

ON THE CHARGE: Annette Brander during an earlier game of the Women's Rugby League World Cup. The Jillaroos will meet the Kiwi Ferns in the final.
ON THE CHARGE: Annette Brander during an earlier game of the Women's Rugby League World Cup. The Jillaroos will meet the Kiwi Ferns in the final. CRAIG GOLDING

RUGBY LEAGUE: Annette Brander is prepared to cheer on the Jillaroos from the sideline, after she was named 18th woman for the team's World Cup decider against New Zealand on Saturday.

While it appears the 24-year-old will miss out on game time, she told the Daily during the week she was ready for such a scenario.

"If I don't make it out on the field, I'm definitely going to be the biggest cheerleader on the sideline," she said.

"I have played four games (during the campaign) and if I don't make it, I understand, it is what it is."

The Jillaroos are favoured to beat the Kiwi Ferns in Brisbane but Brander said her side was wary.

"It will be a bit different from what we've had so far in this campaign," she said.

"We've versed teams like England and Canada but the Kiwis definitely play a bit of a different game.

"They're going to be really physical and they can spread the ball well as well so I think it's going to be a challenge.

"They are very fast and agile, even some of the forwards you wouldn't expect to be as quick or as mobile as they definitely are."

The Caboolture product, who played for Beerwah again this year in the Brisbane competition, made her international debut against the Kiwi Ferns three years ago.

"I was definitely very nervous then and unfortunately we lost," she said.

"That was just my second game in the centres. It's one of the hardest defensive positions on the field.

"I have learned a lot since then. I'm now confident to play there whereas in my first game I was...unsure how to defend.

"I feel like I have a come a long way but I also feel like I have a lot to learn and I'm excited about that."

Brander has also played second-row, lock and wing during the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Bribie Island product Matt Gillett is set to lace up for the Kangaroos in their grand final against England.

The back-rower has been a force on the representative scene for the past few years and looms as a vital cog in the machine.

Topics:  annette brander jillaroos womens rugby league

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