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The Sydney Roosters NRLW team.

Sydney Roosters' quest to go one better and win the NRL Holden Women's Premiership failed to go to plan in 2019. 

A disappointing loss in round one to the Warriors under new coach Rick Stone left the Tricolours with plenty to play for.

Their grand final hopes were virtually dashed by round two with results not going their way.

A final-round loss to the Dragons at Leichhardt Oval set alarm bells ringing despite a much-improved performance. 

That being said, there were a couple of shining areas the Roosters can identify and work on ahead of season 2020. 


The Roosters retained 36% of their grand final squad from the 2018 season after losing the likes of Maddie Studdon, Tazmin Gray and Botille Vette-Welsh. 

Australia forward Hannah Southwell proved a handy acquisition for the Tricolours from St George Illawarra, while Broncos recruit Tallisha Harden was named club player of the year.

They blooded an equal competition-high 11 rookies.

Among the debutantes were NSW and Jillaroos five-eighth Kirra Dibb, who showed glimpses of her talent in limited opportunity.

The likes of Corban McGregor, Kiana Takairangi and Simone Smith were also taking the field in their maiden season.  

Hunter Valley product Caitlan Johnston perhaps impressed most of all rookies, later earning a call-up as 18th player for the Jillaroos.

The young gun was well supported by Shanice Parker and Bobbi Law and should be a trio of prospects to hold onto for the 2020 season.


The Roosters struggled in attack, scoring only 28 points across their three games while conceding 60. 

Roosters captain Simaima Taufa grabbed a double in the opening round against the Warriors but there wasn't much more joy after that.

Retiring forward Ruan Sims crossed the line as her decorated career was winding down. 

The Roosters' main issues started up front with limited impact while the team struggled to contain post metre yardage from the opposition - conceding 348 metres per game. 

Outside backs Isabelle Kelly (347 metres) and Corban McGregor (343 metres) led the Tricolours in yardage from a combined 72 carries across three games.

Middle forwards Taufa (67 metres per game), Sims (36.3m) and Vanessa Foliaki (44.5m) struggled to make inroads on a weekly basis with possession and territory the key factors.

Still clearly an intimidating figure though, Sims finished the NRLW season on top in attracting three or more defenders per run.

Her percentage of 70 was well ahead of Broncos prop Amber Hall (57%) and Warriors forward Aieshaleigh Smalley (53%).

Meanwhile, the Roosters finished fourth for tackle busts made with 62 in total at 20.7 per game.

Corban McGregor was the only Rooster to crack the top 10, ranked sixth with 12 busts in three games.

The Roosters' goal-kicking was at least a shining light with Kirra Dibb slotting four goals from five attempts.  


The Roosters were guilty of conceding 17 penalties in three games (ranked second highest) at an average of 5.7 per outing.

Nita Maynard (4) and Hannah Southwell (3) were among the NRLW's top five in this department.

The side's error count average of 10.3 per game was ranked worst in the competition and impacted any opportunities they had when it came to territory.

Data analysis shows the Roosters came up with most of their errors in the opening 15 minutes of each half – giving them little chance to get on the front foot.

Roosters centre Isabelle Kelly coughed up the ball on five occasions with Corban McGregor (4), Caitlan Johnston and Karina Brown (both three) also in the top 10 for errors.

In return, the Tricolours gained just seven penalties in three games – perhaps also indicating they weren't winning the ruck or creating enough pressure to earn repeat sets.

Despite this, their missed tackle count was down on last season to coincide with the competition's overall total.

Their 12 line breaks conceded resulted in 11 tries from 80 tackles missed.

Maynard was ranked first in the competition for tackles made with 113 at a 90.4% efficiency but missed 11 to join Zahara Temara (9) in the top 10 of that category.

Southwell finished second behind Warriors centre Jules Newman (8) to make seven one-on-one tackle efforts.

Johnston (5) was also in the top five when it came to tackling a player on her own.

First contact in defence

Still on Nita Maynard and there's no denying the gritty hooker doesn't mind being the first into a tackle.

The Roosters No.9 was first to make contact 64% of the time when in the defensive line.

This percentage outweighs her fellow hookers – Broncos rake Lavinia Gould (56%), Warriors' Krystal Rota (49%) and Dragons rake Brittany Breayley (44%).

Her second and third contact percentages are much lower than the trio despite maintaining a 90% tackle efficiency.

More notably, Maynard's time with the ball in hand outside of dummy half made up 13% of her overall receipts.

While her carries were down at 2.7 runs per game (only Breayley struggled more at 2.3), she generated 8.6 metres per carry – the best of any other hooker.

Back three coverage 

The Roosters excelled in this department with wingers Kiana Takairangi and Karina Brown finishing in the top three with tough carries out of their own 40 metre zone which doesn't include kick returns. 

Takairangi made on average 58 metres per game from the side's 40 metre defensive zone with Brown (51.1 metres) not far behind. 

Former Rooster and Dragons fullback Botille Vette-Welsh dominated in this field with 76.1 metres but notably had less carries on average than the Roosters pair. 

Roosters fullback Corban McGregor ranked 12th in this department with an average of two carries out of the 40-metre zone. 

McGregor, who was returning from season-ending shoulder surgery last year, finished the NRLW as the leading kick return metre eater with 58.7 per game, pipping Vette-Welsh (56.7). 

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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