2 days ago
NRLW Roosters v Broncos preview
A state vs state battle begins the second week of the NRLW with the Sydney Roosters looking to avoid losses in their first two games whilst Brisbane take confidence out of a big win over the Dragons on Sunday.
The Roosters were tipped to take out the first game of the NRLW last weekend at ANZ Stadium against the Warriors in cool and wet conditions. Their line up was packed with attacking flair and power which was expected them to get over the line against a big Warriors pack and yet the visitors did enough in greasy conditions. The Tricolours looked good right through the game but the slow ground didn't allow the likes of Isabelle Kelly or Maddie Studdon to show all their attacking prowess.
The Eastern Suburbs side had 55% of the ball for the match against the Warriors although they could only manage the one try for the game and that came towards the end of the first half when Isabelle Kelly ran from left to right across the ten-metre line before slicing through to score. Despite the live decision of No Try, the try was awarded and it was the Roosters only try of the match. They then struggled to get through a well-structured Warriors defensive line and ended up falling to a 10-4 defeat. The positives for coach Adam Hartigan were in defence - the Tricolours only conceded two tries for the match and none in the second half and the potential of some potent attack.
Brisbane took the advantage of a pre-season warm up game on the weekend when they put on a stunning 30-4 victory over the St George Illawarra Dragons. The Broncos had taken on the PNG Orchids two weeks ago and the benefit of that game was there to see as they started the NRLW super strongly and stamped themselves as new competition favourites. The Queensland-based side was filled with state and international experience including Chelsea Baker, Ali Brigginshaw and Steph Hancock amongst others.
The dry and sunny conditions lent themselves to expansive play unlike the Saturday game and the Broncos were crisp in attack and made more than 200 more running metres than the Dragons did despite having less of the ball. Brisbane's defence was just as impressive with the Red V only being able to cross the stripe once even though they had multiple sets in attack inside the opposition 20m. The Broncos will look to use their all-round strong squad to get through the middle of the Roosters before using speed deep in attack.
Who to watch: Ruan Sims - One of the best known Women's players, Sims has had an injury interrupted 2018 but has been named to make her NRLW debut on Friday night in the front row. The sister to three NRL stars, Ru was always named as the toughest member in the family by her brothers, and she possesses strength and power as well as excellent ball playing skills as well as a strong knowledge of the game. Sims will be a key part of the Roosters forwards who were outplayed by the Warriors and could be again if the Broncos forwards get on top.
Chelsea Baker - Australian and Queensland fullback Baker will be a key player for the Broncos and it will be her defence, and attack from the back that will be an important factor for the Broncos. The fullback last week ran for 167m which included three line breaks and two tackle busts to go with the two tries she scored and five goals.
My tip: The drier conditions this weekend will suit the Roosters attack much better with the likes of Maddie Studdon and Isabelle Kelly able to create fast play for their side which they weren't able to get on Saturday afternoon at ANZ Stadium. Brisbane however will be high in confidence after their big win over the Dragons and their all-round ability across the park puts them ahead of the Roosters. They should be good enough to get the win but they won't have it all the same way they did against St George Illawarra last weekend. Broncos by 6.
1. Karina Brown 2. Sharon Mcgrady 3. Shontelle Stowers 4. Isabelle Kelly 5. Taleena Simon 6. Lavina O'mealey 7. Maddie Studdon 8. Ruan Sims 9. Kylie Hilder 10. Elianna Walton 11. Tazmin Gray 12. Vanessa Foliaki 13. Zahara Temara 14. Nita Maynard 16. Chloe Caldwell 17. Victoria Latu 21. Simaima Taufa
1. Chelsea Baker 2. Julia Robinson 3. Meg Ward 4. Amber Pilley 5. Karley Te Kawa 6. Kimiora Nati 7. Ali Brigginshaw 8. Heather Ballinger 9. Brittany Breayley 15. Chelsea Lenarduzzi 11. Teuila Fotu-moala 12. Maitua Feterika 13. Rona Peters 10. Steph Hancock 14. Lavinia Gould 16. Mariah Storch 17. Ngatokotoru Arakua
Referees: Peter Gough, Joshua McGowan; Sideline Officials: Jake Sutherland, Andrew Gilchrist; Video Referees: Luke Patten, Alan Shortall;