Broncos v Warriors NRLW preview

Embed from Getty Images
Brisbane Broncos v Warriors Saturday 3:00pm at GIO Stadium Canberra

The second of the NRLW opening double header on Saturday afternoon sees the defending champions the Brisbane Broncos taking on the New Zealand Warriors.

The Brisbane Broncos have been the benchmark through the NRLW having taken both NRLW premierships having only lost one game across the two seasons. The Broncos only defeat across the two seasons came at the hands of the Warriors in a 10-8 upset in the final round of the season. The Broncos had won both their opening games with a 14-4 victory over the Dragons and a 20-0 win over the Roosters. The Broncos dominance across the women's competition came to an end at the Perth 9s when they were comfortably defeated in the final by the Dragons.

The Broncos squad has been kept relatively similar for 2020 with Lauren Brown and Shannon Mato coming across from Rugby Union to take part in the NRLW for this season. The Broncos have also added QLD origin representative Tallisha Harden to their side for this season after joining from the Roosters.

The New Zealand Warriors will more than likely become a fan favourite for 2020 with a patchwork team and squad for 2020. The Warriors have been inconsistent through the NRLW across two seasons with three wins across the two seasons. In 2019, the Warriors took two victories with victories over the Roosters in Round 1 with a 16-12 and then pulled off the biggest upset in the competition's history with a 10-8 over the Brisbane Broncos.

Due to the COVID regulations, the Warriors will be made up of players from all different backgrounds due to key players unable to leave commitments in New Zealand. This has seen players such as Honey Hireme & Apii Nicholls missing the competition. The Warriors have signed Karina Brown, Kirra Dib Tazmin Gray and Shontelle Showers along with Australian Rugby duo Ellia Green and Evania Pelite.

Last meeting: Round 3 2019 - Broncos 8 Warriors 10

Who to watch: Having been with the Broncos for both NRLW seasons and being a key part of the Australian and Queensland squad for well over a decade, Ali Brigginshaw is one of the most notable players across any side in the NRLW. She will be leading the Broncos attack yet again and her ability to create something out of nothing is just one of the things that opposition teams will be able to keep their eye on.

New Warriors halfback Kirra Dibb will have a job ahead of her leading a Warriors side that will have had a limited amount of playing time together. Joining from the Roosters, Dib has represented both NSW and Australia had the highest level and only joined the Warriors in the past few weeks, helping to fill key gaps in the Warriors, to help keep the competition strong for 2020.

The favourite: The defending champions will be considered the favourites for this clash given the strength of their line up and their history in the competition.

My tip: The Warriors will no doubt put up a strong performance but given their circumstances and the disjointed nature of their squad, the Broncos will have a better preparation into the game and they look stronger. Broncos by 18.

1. Tamika Upton 2. Lauren Brown 3. Julia Robinson 4. Jayme Fressard 5. Meg Ward 6. Raecene McGregor 7. Ali Brigginshaw 8. Millie Boyle 9. Lavinia Gould 10. Chelsea Lenarduzzi 11. Amber Hall 12. Jessika Elliston 13. Tarryn Aiken 14. Annette Brander 15. Tallisha Harden 16. Shannon Mato 17. Tyler Birch

1. Karina Brown 2. Hilda Peters 3. Teaghan Hartigan 4. Evania Pelite 5. Ellia Green 6. Kirra Dibb 7. Simone Smith 8. Crystal Tamarua 9. Kanyon Paul 10. Kayla Sauvao 11. Madison Bartlett 12. Tazmin Gray 13. Georgia Hale 14. Shaniah Power 15. Taimane Levu 16. Samantha Economos 17. Brianna Clark

Referees: Henry Perenara; Sideline Officials: Jon Stone, Drew Oultram; Video Referees: Steve Clark;

Follow all the action LIVE in our Match Centre