Roosters v Broncos: NRLW Round 2 preview
Two of the pre-season favourites go head-to-head in round two of the NRL Holden Women's Premiership on Friday night in a clash that could make or break the final standings for both sides.
The Roosters are looking to keep their grand final aspirations alive after a shock loss to the Warriors last week, while Brisbane can all but book their spot in the decider with another dominant win.
Many predicted these two clubs to face off in the inaugural NRLW final on September 30, but the Roosters' round one defeat has left them with it all to play for.
The Tricolours are hopeful inspirational leader Ruan Sims will return from a hamstring injury in a boost for the side, who struggled to find in-roads against a defensively sound Warriors outfit.
Brisbane couldn't have produced a slicker performance in attack in their win over the Dragons with Paul Dyer's side now searching for an element of consistency to their game after a history-making performance.
Match: Roosters vs Broncos
Round 2 -
Venue: Allianz Stadium
- Nine Network
- Fox League
- LIVE PASS
Key match-up: Ali Brigginshaw v Maddie Studdon: The pair of Jillaroos were teammates at last year's World Cup and now go head-to-head for the second time since the NRL Holden State of Origin fixture. Studdon had the last say in the interstate clash but Brigginshaw's form has been electric in 2018. The kicking games and creativity from both are likely to dictate the result.
For the Roosters to win: They'll need to complete their sets a lot better than last week and match it with the Broncos through the middle. Their biggest strength against the Broncos is their talent out wide. Brisbane's back five missed 17 tackles against the Dragons compared to the Roosters' five last week. With Isabelle Kelly and Shontelle Stowers in the centres, it could be the target area for the Tricolours to find points.
For the Broncos to win: They have to tighten their defence. The Broncos conceded 62 tackle breaks despite a 26-point victory over the Dragons. The Roosters will have too much strike power if that happens again. Brisbane have the strength across the park with their set plays earning huge raps over the weekend and they'll need to prove again it isn't a one-off performance.
And another thing: The Broncos' average play-the-ball speed (3.64 seconds) was the fastest of the women's sides in the opening round. The Warriors were just behind at 3.66 seconds, while defeated sides the Roosters (4.05 seconds) and Dragons (4.13 seconds) recorded more than half a second slower at the ruck.
Fullback for Roosters is number 1 Karina BrownFullback for Broncos is number 1 Chelsea Baker
Winger for Roosters is number 2 Sharon McGradyWinger for Broncos is number 2 Julia Robinson
Centre for Roosters is number 3 Shontelle StowersCentre for Broncos is number 3 Meg Ward
Centre for Roosters is number 4 Isabelle KellyCentre for Broncos is number 4 Amber Pilley
Winger for Roosters is number 5 Taleena SimonWinger for Broncos is number 5 Karley Te Kawa
Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Lavina O'MealeyFive-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Kimiora Nati
Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Maddie StuddonHalfback for Broncos is number 7 Ali Brigginshaw
Prop for Roosters is number 8 Ruan SimsProp for Broncos is number 8 Heather Ballinger
Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Kylie HilderHooker for Broncos is number 9 Brittany Breayley
Prop for Roosters is number 10 Elianna WaltonProp for Broncos is number 15 Chelsea Lenarduzzi
2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Tazmin Gray2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Teuila Fotu-Moala
2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Vanessa Foliaki2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Maitua Feterika
Lock for Roosters is number 13 Zahara TemaraLock for Broncos is number 13 Rona Peters
Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Nita MaynardInterchange for Broncos is number 10 Steph Hancock
Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Chloe CaldwellInterchange for Broncos is number 14 Lavinia Gould
Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Victoria LatuInterchange for Broncos is number 16 Mariah Storch
Interchange for Roosters is number 21 Simiana TaufaInterchange for Broncos is number 17 Ngatokotoru Arakua
Roosters: Ruan Sims starts at prop and Sharon McGrady is in on the wing, with Karina Brown moving to fullback. Simaima Taufa has been promoted to the bench at the expense of Sarah Togatuki, while Botille Vette-Welsh was cut an hour before kick-off. Brydie Parker and Quincy Dodd were omitted on Thursday.
Broncos: Meg Ward replaces Amelia Kuk in the centres with Karley Te Kawa starting on the wing. Chelsea lenarduzzi will start at prop, with Stephanie Hancock dropping to the bench. Tallisha Harden and Amelia Kuk were cut an hour prior to kick-off.