Roosters v Broncos NRLW preview

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Sydney Roosters v Brisbane Broncos Saturday 4:00pm at Stadium Australia

Saturday's second NRLW match is set to be a preview of the Grand Final eight days later as the Sydney Roosters take on the Brisbane Broncos for bragging rights leading into the big one.

The Roosters have been the surprise packets of the 2020 NRLW season having won both games this season against the Dragons and Warriors respectively. Coming into the competition the Roosters weren't expected to push the top sides but they left many surprised following their 18-4 victory over the Dragons in Round 1. Despite the injury to Botte Vette-Welsh, the Roosters showed their Round 1 victory was no fluke.

The Roosters headed into last week's game knowing that they could lock a grand final spot and they came out firing yet again as they were able to open up a 22-0 lead on the Warriors before conceding two tries in the final minutes. The tricolours will be confident that they will be able to match the Broncos and beat them.

With the grand final a week away, the Roosters have rested Simaima Taufua, Hannah Southwell and Zahara Temara with Melanie Howard named at halfback and Amelia Mafi named at prop. Other positional changes for the Roosters sees Yasmin Meakes move to the second row, Vanessa Foliaki to the bench whilst Kennedy Cherrington starts at lock.

The Brisbane Broncos have proven themselves to yet again be competition front runners following their two strong performances against the Warriors and Dragons. The Broncos were second favourites for the 2020 season but quickly took back the title of favourites after their 22-14 victory over the Warriors. The Broncos then again proved why they've been the dominant side after their 18-4 victory over the Dragons last weekend.

Victory last weekend booked a grand final spot for the Broncos who knew that the Dragons needed a win to keep their season's hopes alive. The Broncos were strong last week as they opened up a 12-0 break despite having their line crossed on multiple occasions by the Dragons only for the Red ‘V' to be denied.

Despite a comfortable win, the Broncos had their fair share of issues coming out of last weeks contest with Lavinia Gould ruled out of this weekend's contest through injury whilst Amber Hall will miss this week through suspension following a dangerous contact charge. Ali Brigginshaw lines up halfback, with Lauren Brown moving to hooker replacing Gould amongst other changes.

Last meeting: Round 2 2019 - Broncos 20 Roosters 0

Who to watch: Playing her first game for 2020, Melanie Howard will have big shoes to fill replacing Zahara Temara who has been in strong form. Howard will need to immediately come in and perform if the Roosters want to push the Broncos in a confidence booster for the grand final next week.

A strong performance last weekend and taking on the important Number 9 jersey this week, sees Lauren Brown become a key player for the Broncos this weekend. Replacing Lavina Gould, Brown will need to ensure that her service from dummy half is strong as their attack relies strongly on the service out of dummy half to the halves as well as the running game that Lavinia Gould provides.

The favourite: The Broncos will go into the game as favourites following their strong performances and the decision by the Roosters to rest a number of key players.

My tip: The Broncos should win this game and somewhat easily, the Roosters have been strong in the first two weeks but resting key players has weakened them significantly meanwhile the Broncos are just as strong as they have been through the competition. The Broncos no doubt will be strong and looking to set themselves up for next week's Grand Final. Broncos by 18.

18. Zahara Temara 2. Shanice Parker 3. Brydie Parker 11. Yasmin Meakes 5. Taleena Simon 6. Corban McGregor 7. Melanie Howard 21. Grace Hamilton 9. Nita Maynard 10. Filomina Hanisi 16. Vanessa Foliaki 12. Sarah Togatuki 13. Kennedy Cherrington 8. Amelia Mafi 14. Quincy Dodd 15. Kaitlyn Phillips 19. Simaima Taufa

1. Tamika Upton 2. Shenae Ciesiolka 3. Julia Robinson 18. Tyler Birch 5. Meg Ward 6. Raecene McGregor 13. Tarryn Aiken 8. Millie Boyle 9. Lauren Brown 16. Shannon Mato 11. Tallisha Harden 12. Jessika Elliston 7. Ali Brigginshaw 10. Chelsea Lenarduzzi 14. Annette Brander 15. Romy Teitzel 17. Chante Temara

Referees: Liam Kennedy; Sideline Officials: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski, Drew Oultram; Video Referees: Steve Clark;

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