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BRONCOS V ROOSTERS NRLW SEMI-FINAL PREVIEW

Brontee Fulton

31/03/2022


Image: NRL


The stage is set for the first ever NRLW semi-final series as 4 teams go head to head this Sunday at Leichhardt Oval to cement their place in the 2021 Grand Final.


The Broncos have an opportunity to make it four straight, while the Roosters will be out to right their wrongs from their devastating 2020 Grand Final defeat. If stats are anything to go by, three-time premiers the Brisbane Broncos will be headed home with their heads held high, having never lost a game to the tri-colours in the competition’s history. The last time these two sides met, was back in Round 1 of the season and the Broncos notched up a 20-4 dusting over a shaky Roosters side that was missing their skipper Corban McGregor.


The Roosters were thrown a lifeline last week when the Parramatta Eels went down to the Broncos in dominant fashion and knocked themselves out of the top four. Having only won 2 of their 5 games this season, the Roosters head into the match as the underdogs.


REAL INS

Coach Kelvin Wright was spoilt for choice this week, Tamika Upton returns to the line up after she was forced to miss two consecutive matches with concussion and then COVID-19. Her return pushes Hayley Maddick to the bench. Julia Robinson also returns from a broken jaw and slots straight onto her left wing, pushing Hagiga Mosby out.


Jess Sergis had the weight of the world on her shoulders when she made the move to the famous Sydney club this season and hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. The Blues centre has a real opportunity to run her side to an upset. In a tactical decision, Zahara Temara was rested at the end of last week’s match but has been named at five-eighth this Sunday. The 24-year-old has shown her game winning abilities, kicking a successful conversion to win their round 4 clash in the dying minutes.



REAL GAME CHANGERS

In what is a stacked line-up, you can’t look past powerhouse prop Millie Boyle, racking up 244 metres, 105 of which were post contact in round 5. Boyle will be crucial in the Broncos forward pack. Keep an eye out for Amber Hall who had the game of her season last week, with 210 metres, four offloads and six tackle busts. Broncos moving Hall to the edge has been a game changing move from Coach Wright so far. Skipper Ali Brigginshaw is the first to admit she’s lacked confidence this season, but the Australian Jillaroo bagged her first try of the season last week and it's safe to say Brigginshaw won’t ease up, as she looks to lead her team to their 4th straight grand final appearance in as many seasons.


Roosters centre Isabelle Kelly dominated the stat sheet last week, notching up a try, three line breaks, 153 run metres, six tackle busts and two offloads. The defensive efforts of the Roosters backline will be vital come Sunday. Keep an eye on back-rower Olivia Kernick who has so far recorded a 93.9% tackle efficiency, not to mention 3 tries from 5 appearances. Coach John Strange will look to the agile forward in those game changing moments.


The Broncos know how to find the try line, having out-scored the Roosters 134 points to 77 this season, we can expect plenty of points and if the forecast is dry like it says, watch both sides use their edges. When it comes to the kicking game, Broncos have slotted 17 successful conversions from 25 attempts, in comparison to the Roosters 8 from 14.


Regardless of the result it is going to be a cracking clash, a grand final rematch, QLD vs NSW and do or die footy - stay up to date with Real Talk Media.



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