After all four teams put on strong performances in round one, round two of the NRLW is set to be huge. Over two big matches, teams may have their grand final hopes made or broken.
Broncos v Roosters, Saturday 5.05pm at AAMI Park
A rematch of last years grand final, this match is one not to be missed.
Reigning premiers the Broncos looked sharp against the Dragons last week, proving that consistency and basic good footy is key to winning games. Forward Chelsea Lenarduzzi and winger Julia Robinson have both been named to return in what will be a big boost to an already strong side but will see Jessika Elliston and Tamika Upton pushed into the reserves.
The Roosters have shaken up their team list in hopes of overcoming last weeks close loss to the Warriors. NSW Country representative Simone Smith has been named to play in the halves, and Jasmin Allende named in the reserves. Second rower Hannah Southwell has been named despite failing a HIA last week, and her recovery this week will determine whether or not she plays. Mel Howard is the only player from last week to not be named in the extended squad, with Bobbi Law, Quincy Dodd and Shanice Parker also all named.
Last Time They Met:
Last year the Broncos won this match up 14 – 4, and then went on to beat the Roosters 34 – 12 in the Grand Final.
While the Roosters were determined and showed fire last week, it might not be enough to overcome the Broncos strong form. If they can contain the Broncos outside, they have the physicality to muscle them out through the middle. Personally, I think the Broncos will be just too strong and win by 10+.
Warriors v Dragons, Sunday 1.15pm at Mt Smart Stadium
If this wasn’t already looking like being a great game, the fact that it’s the first-ever stand-alone NRLW makes it even more exciting.
The Warriors looked sharp and fierce against the Roosters last week, and a home ground advantage will provide them with a huge boost. Onjeurlina Leiataua and Tanika Jazz Noble-Bell have been moved back to the reserves, replaced by Amber Kani and Tasia Seumanufagai on the bench. Tyler Reid and Roela Radiniyavuni have also both been included in the extended squad.
The Dragons have named the same starting 17 as last week despite their loss to the Broncos, though some experience playing together may see them play like a different team. Prop Teuila Fotu-Moala will not be taking the field though, after being found guilty of a crusher tackle last week, which will see her suspended for the entire season in a massive blow to the Dragons.
Last Time They Met:
Round two last year saw the Dragons beat the Warriors 22 – 10 in what would be there only win of the season.
While they have a fantastic team on paper, the Dragons really need to lift if they want to beat the Warriors this week and contend for the grand final. Some experience playing together might now see their key positions click, but they need to shut down the Warriors set plays and solid hit-ups, and utilise more of their speedy players. I think the Warriors will win this one by 6.