07 April 2022

As seen on https://www.1news.co.nz

Wairoa’s Madison Bartlett is leading the Dragons to their first NRLW grand final on Sunday as the competition’s leading try scorer.

When the Warriors women’s team was cut as a cost-saving measure, Bartlett was one of a number of Kiwi Ferns who feared their NRLW dream was over.

“Six months ago, I didn’t know if I was going to play at all in the NRLW,” she said.

Bartlett was part of the Warriors squad that was last year stunned to learn they’d been cut so the club could save on costs. Some moved to other teams while others weren’t so lucky.

“I just reached out to a few clubs and said I’d be interested in playing. and then I sent through footage and video and stuff, and I was just lucky the Dragons took a chance on me,” she said.

The Kiwi Ferns winger hasn’t looked back, scoring more tries than anyone else this season.

Her season was rocked momentarily by a biting charge that was downgraded so she could lead the grand final favourites this weekend against the Roosters, which features a handful of Kiwis.

Bartlett is keen to stay wearing the famous Red V beyond this season.

“I think I’d like to come here and play, I know the Warriors aren’t in for the next season at the end of the year, but I’m not sure what their plans are for the year after,” she said.

Besides, Bartlett says she has a new family in the form of the six teammates she lives with.

The group call her the Gordon Ramsay of the house.

“She is Gordon Ramsey, she makes out that she’s this sweet little thing, as soon as she gets in the kitchen, it’s like a new person,” captain Kezie Apps explained.