They’ve been the dominant teams this season, and the Roosters and Broncos will battle it out for the title of 2020 NRLW Premiers.
They met in the inaugural NRLW Grand Final in 2018, where the Broncos won 34-12. Two years later, only seven of those who played will return for the Roosters and five for Brisbane.
Team Changes: Broncos
Ali Brigginshaw and Tarryn Aiken have been named at halfback and lock, though the pair often switch positions on game day. Amber Hall returns from suspension and Chelsea Lenarduzzi is named to start, in what will be a significant boost to the Broncos’ forward pack. Lavinia Gould is listed in the reserves and may overcome a leg injury to be a late inclusion.
Team Changes: Roosters
After being rested last week, Simaima Taufa has been named at prop and Hannah Southwell at lock. This pushes Grace Hamilton and Kennedy Cherrington to the bench, and Amelia Mafi and Kaitlyn Phillips to the reserves. Fullback Botille Vette-Welsh is unlikely to return from a hamstring injury despite being named on the reserves. Union convert Charlotte Caslick was also ruled out prior to last week’s game: a significant loss for the Roosters’ attack.
Players to Watch
Broncos: There’s a good reason Brigginshaw took out this year’s Dally M Female Player of the Year. She stands out in any given game but lifts to a whole new level for the big ones. Expect big hits and game-changing plays from the Brisbane skipper.
Roosters: Playmaker Zahara Temara has been a stand-out player for the Roosters this season, and could be the key to undoing the Broncos. The skilful half has been no stranger to scoring and setting up tries, and has built a strong combination with halves partner Mel Howard.
Where It Will be Won
The Broncos have dominated in attack this year, scoring a total of 70 points in three games. This has been significantly boosted by Meg Ward nailing 92% of conversions. Despite having a loss to their name, the Roosters have only conceded six more points in total. Maintaining this level of defence and improving their completion rate will be crucial if they want to hold out the Broncos’ relentless attack.
Last Time They Met
These sides met just last week, with the Broncos winning 24-16. Despite a close start, handling errors and missing key players up the middle saw the Roosters unable to hold on.
While anything is possible in a grand final, I can’t see the Broncos losing. They remain the only team undefeated this year and have only lost one game in three seasons. Even in the close games, when it looks like they might be beaten, they have the skills and experience to bring it back. I’m backing a Broncos win by at least 10 points.
Brisbane by 10.