Baker’s best is yet to come ahead of NRLW decider
RUGBY LEAGUE: By her own admission she's out of form but if there's one thing certain in life you never write off a champion.
Gladstone's Chelsea Baker will look to write another chapter in her expanding book of achievements on Sunday when the Brisbane Broncos face St George Illawarra Dragons in the NRLW Grand Final.
Speaking to The Observer having just touched down in Sydney, Baker said this week has been business as usual for the Broncos as they look to defend their NRLW title.
"It's been pretty quiet so far. We had Sunday and Monday off and then got into a good training session on Tuesday, ran a bit of the soreness out and did some hard work," she said.
"Then we had another day off (Wednesday) and flew down (yesterday)."
Brisbane's fullback said the grand final feeling was yet to sink in.
"I'm sure it will as we train (yesterday) afternoon so once we start getting out and seeing a bit of Sydney I'm sure it will kick in," Baker said.
"To go back-to-back would be absolutely fantastic and that's the dream but we've got a lot to do between now and Sunday to prepare for it."
The Broncos suffered their first NRLW defeat last weekend with a narrow 10-8 loss against New Zealand Warriors.
Baker said it was a match Brisbane need to put behind them after admitting they didn't stick to their game plan.
Sunday's match, kicking off at 3.05pm (Qld time), will see Brisbane face the side they defeated 14-4 in Round 1.
Baker is expecting to face a much-improved Dragons side.
"They've come forward in leaps and bounds since that first round, had a few reshuffles with their team and had a fantastic (24-16) win over the Roosters last weekend," she said.
"Their key players are going to be (Dally M winner Jessica) Sergis, Kezie Apps is coming into good form, Maddie Studdon is doing great and their fullback Botille Vette-Welsh is in amazing form as well."
However the 33-year-old admits an injury-plagued 2019 has affected her own form.
"I know I'm not on par from last year's form. Having only had surgery in late July on my ankle it was hard to come back from that fitness-wise," Baker said.
She's also been uncharacteristically out of form with the boot, having only landed three goals from 10 attempts.
"I'd like to say it's not (resulting from the surgery), but it may have or I might have been compensating for my ankle prior to surgery and now I'm swinging them differently," Baker said.
"In all honesty I couldn't tell you but I'm not happy about it.
"It's not like I'm not out there practising … I'm landing eight out of 10 kicks at training."