Roosters playmaker Raecene McGregor returned to haunt her former team on Saturday afternoon, helping the defending premiers to continue their undefeated start to the season with a comprehensive 28-8 victory over the Broncos.
After a closely-contested opening half hour which saw the Roosters leading 6-0, McGregor sparked the Tricolours to life with a long-range break which finished in her kicking for Olivia Kernick to score, before another bust from the Kiwi Fern saw her set Samantha Bremner up for a long-range try right on half-time.
Bremner and McGregor combine for absolute pearler
McGregor finished the game with a try assist, two line breaks and 163 run metres, while Bremner backed up her brilliant showing in round 1 with a classy showing that included 100 run metres, but did fail to finish the match after earlier appearing to struggle with an arm or pec injury.
The game started with the Roosters denying Tarryn Aitken and Ali Brigginshaw certain tries in the first half with desperate lunges which caused knock-ons, and in between that Destiny Brill scored the opener with a burrowing effort from close range.
Aiken oh so close
Aitken then produced an impressive try-saver of her own to deny Jessica Sergis in the corner of the field, before Hayley Maddick produced a last-ditch tackle which forced a forward pass from Isabelle Kelly with the try-line looming.
Just as it looked like Brisbane would go to the sheds trailing by only six points, Kernick and Bremner went over in quick succession to stretch the visitors' lead.
But Brisbane's response in the second half was immediate and brilliant to watch, as Julia Robinson picked off a wayward kick and raced downfield, rounding Bremner before linking with Aitken who took it the rest of the way.
Aitken scored her second of the game - and third of the season - five minutes later, but with Brigginshaw again unable to convert the Broncos still trailed by eight.
Aiken slips through for her second
In the end Brisbane couldn't maintain that level of intensity, and the Roosters broke them in the final 20 minutes with Kernick crossing for her second, before Jayme Fressard crossed for her side's fifth.
The Roosters will have plenty to worry about next week still though, with Jessica Sergis (hamstring), Sarah Togatuki (ribs) and Jayme Fressard (leg cut) failing to finish the match. Bremner also left the field before full-time with a cork.
- The victory keeps the Roosters at the top of the NRLW ladder for the time being, with two wins from two games.
- With a 0-2 start to the year, coupled with a finals loss to the Roosters which ended their 2021 season, the Broncos have now lost three in a row for the first time at NRLW level.
- The Roosters broke 59 tackles and made eight line breaks in the win.
- The Roosters lost representative centre Jessica Sergis to a game-ending hamstring injury two minutes into the second half. Sarah Togatuki (ribs), Jayme Fressard (leg cut) and Bremner (cork) also failed to finish the match.
- Tarryn Aitken's double at Suncorp Stadium gave her three tries in two games this season.
- Olivia Kernick scored twice to make it six tries in nine NRLW games.
- The Roosters had Keilee Joseph placed on report in the 59th minute for a possible hip drop tackle and Destiny Brill placed on report for a dangerous tackle in the 64th minute.
Play of the Game
Trailing 16-0 at the break, Brisbane needed a response early in the second half, and got it thanks to some great work by wing Julia Robinson and five-eighth Tarryn Aitken. After picking up Zahara Temara's kick, Robinson broke down field and beat the attempted tackle of Samantha Bremner, before linking with her No.6 for a long-range try.
Broncos turn it on as they go 90m
What they said
"Definitely not the result we wanted. I thought the performance was actually better than last week, but we missed a lot of opportunities in the first half. There were some really big efforts out there from a few players." - Broncos coach Kelvin Wright.
NRLW Broncos: Round 2
"I was really happy with us, we created a lot of opportunities, we have still got some work there to improve, to make sure we really ice those opportunities we create. Really happy with the effort." - Roosters coach John Strange.
NRLW Roosters: Round 2
The Broncos head to Redcliffe next for a Queensland derby against the Titans, while the Roosters will be part of the opening of the brand-new Allianz Stadium in round 3, playing host to the Dragons in a rematch of last season's Grand Final.