'It broke my heart': Baker reveals reason behind GF axing
RUGBY LEAGUE: Gladstone's and Brisbane Broncos' fullback Chelsea Baker knew her form was not where it should have been in the lead up to Sunday's NRLW grand final.
And she admitted the realisation that she was dropped five days before the decider was a bitter pill to swallow.
Would-be grand final player of the match Tamika Upton replaced Baker as the Broncos surged to 30-6 win against St George Illawarra Dragons.
"I found out on Tuesday before our final training session in Brisbane and I had no idea it was coming," she said.
"I was very blindsided by it but in saying that, Tamika went out and did the job that we all knew she could do."
Brisbane Broncos coach Kelvin Wright made the tough call and by his own admission said it was one of his hardest decisions to do.
"Of course it came as a shock and I think he felt like I should have expected it but to me I was completed blindsided by it," Baker said.
"I knew my form wasn't as good as last year but in saying that I didn't actually think I played that badly to warrant the drop but that's why he's the coach and I'm the player.
"Obviously it broke my heart and I didn't have too much to say to him and I couldn't really think at the time."
Baker had her typical team-first attitude in the days leading up to the grand final and approached the game like she was to be playing in it.
Baker said it really hit her when she approached the bench as her teammates ran onto ANZ Stadium.
"The only hard part was actually walking out to the bench but once I was out there, the feeling was gone and I was just there to support my friends and to support my teammates," she said.
As the Broncos began to dominate the game, Baker rode every tackle and hit.
"I was just as active running up and down the sideline and if they showed any footage of it, I was actually jumping up and down for the majority of the game," she said.
"I couldn't sit still and I rode every emotion."
Baker said she will take a break before getting stuck into another pre-season campaign.