HOISTING the premiership trophy as skipper after an undefeated season, scoring in a grand final and being named best on ground in that winning decider - Janalee Conroy could not have asked for a better 21st birthday present.
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The Dubbo Roolettes captain had a smile from ear-to-ear at full-time in Saturday's Ferguson Cup grand final at Ashwood Park, her side holding off Bathurst Bulldogs for a 15-7 win.
"Today's my birthday, I'm 21 today, so that just tops it all off. Yeah best birthday present," Conroy said.
"It feels amazing, all the hard work has finally paid off."
Conroy joined the Dubbo side in 2020 and that season had a lot of similarities to what played out this year.
The Roolettes were the undefeated minor premiers, they'd averaged more than 60 points per game, and were the first through to the grand final.
Back then Bulldogs sprung an upset on grand final day to deny the Roos a perfect season.
It was something that stung Conroy.
Last year the season was abandoned before the Ferguson Cup finals series due to COVID-19, but as Bulldogs had claimed the minor premiership, they were also declared premiers.
That stung Conroy too.
But on Saturday it was a very different emotion the talented scrumhalf felt at full-time.
"It's my third season with the Roos but this is like nothing I've experienced before, it's amazing," she said.
The number nine directed play superbly in attack, helping the Roolettes produce an up-tempo brand of rugby, while she also got through plenty of work in defence.
After a scoreless first half it was Conroy who found the opening try that lifted the Roolettes.
It came a tick over two minutes into the second half. The Roolettes were attacking Bulldogs' line, the ball found its way into the hands of the Dubbo skipper, she spotted a gap and she put the foot down.
"It was a big relief for me for, for all of us, that try," Conroy said.
"I saw the gap and it was sort of a 'Do it or not?' but I just went, I thought 'You've got to take your chance'. Yeah, it felt pretty amazing to score."
Amazing - it's not a bad way to feel on your 21st birthday.
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