2021 NRL Season Previews
21 hours ago | LeagueUnlimited Team
Another Saturday afternoon NRLW header is coming our way this weekend and it kicks off with the Warriors taking on the Sydney Roosters in the early game on Saturday afternoon.
The Warriors were gutsy last weekend when they fell to a 28-14 defeat to the Broncos despite leading 8-0 early. A strong start left many surprised early when the New Zealanders lead 8-0 after as many minutes. Despite a strong start, the Warriors couldn't maintain their pressure and eventually the Broncos stamped their class over the patchwork side for the victory. Despite falling to a 14-point defeat, the game could've been much closer for the Warriors with two efforts denied by the bunker.
Debuting in the NRLW for the first-time last weekend, Australian Rugby 7 stars Evania Pelite and Ellia Green made a relatively seamless transition into Rugby League with both players causing issues for the Broncos out wide and Green backed up her impressive attack with some very strong defence.
The Warriors have kept the same 17 that took to the field last weekend, Shontelle Stowers has been named to play in the centres after being called up late last week to replace Shaniah Power who is in the reserves.
The Sydney Roosters put aside a winless 2019 NRLW season to stun the competition favourites the St George Illawarra Dragons with an 18-4 victory over last years grand finalists. The Roosters started quickly last week with hooker Nita Maynard crossing from dummy half to open the scoring. Although the Dragons did hit back quickly, the Roosters kept their composure and dominated the Red ‘V' attackers who struggled to make metres upfield.
The Roosters who had kept the majority of their 2019 squad, saw high profile signing Charlotte Caslick impress on debut with some excellent skills and dangerous attack which saw her play a strong hand. The tricolours squad having had the experience of playing with each other will be key to their chances.
A key injury blow for the Roosters has seen Botille Vette-Welsh ruled out of the contest with an ankle injury. Charlotte Caslick has moved from the five-eight role to fullback with Corban McGregor moving from the centres to the halves with Bobbi Law coming into the squad in the centres.
Last meeting: Round 1 2019 - Roosters 12 Warriors 16
Who to watch: Warriors halfback Simone Smith is no stranger to big contests having played for both NSW and Australia in the past. Joining from the Roosters for 2020, Smith had a big impact on the game last weekend scoring the opening try and looking dangerous with the ball. Smith's experience will be something that the Warriors need to use if they want to get past the Roosters.
Having been with the Roosters since the beginning of NRLW, QLD and Australian representative Zahara Temara has been a rover for the Roosters having played both in the halves and lock. In 2020, Temara has been given the control of the side in the halves and with key injuries forcing a reshuffle, Temara will be in charge of the attack. The Roosters will need the experience and composure of Temara to stand up against the Warriors and through the NRLW season.
The favourite: The Roosters are the favourites to beat the Warriors for the clash on Saturday afternoon. The notable stat to watch for this contest is that the Warriors have won both clashes between the two sides.
My tip: The Roosters were impressive against the Dragons to the eye with their victory but the injury toll that mounted for the Dragons could've hindered them more than spoken about. The Warriors were impressive for the opening 10 minutes before they couldn't withstand the pressure of the Broncos. The pressure of the Roosters won't be as high on the Warriors and if they can fire for the full game then they are a strong chance of beating the Roosters. Warriors by 4.
1. Karina Brown 2. Madison Bartlett 3. Shontelle Stowers 4. Evania Pelite 5. Ellia Green 6. Kirra Dibb 7. Simone Smith 8. Crystal Tamarua 9. Kanyon Paul 10. Kayla Sauvao 14. Brianna Clark 12. Tazmin Gray 13. Georgia Hale 11. Hilda Peters 16. Samantha Economos 17. Michaela Peck 21. Stephanie Ball
1. Charlotte Caslick 2. Shanice Parker 3. Bobbi Law 4. Yasmin Meakes 5. Brydie Parker 6. Corban McGregor 7. Zahara Temara 8. Simaima Taufa 9. Nita Maynard 10. Filomina Hanisi 11. Vanessa Foliaki 12. Sarah Togatuki 13. Hannah Southwell 14. Quincy Dodd 15. Kennedy Cherrington 16. Grace Hamilton 17. Jocelyn Kelleher
Referees: Drew Oultram; Sideline Officials: Jon Stone, Liam Kennedy; Video Referees: Steve Clark;