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THIRD TIME LUCKY FOR RESILIENT ROOSTERS

11/04/2022

Brontee Fulton


From rags to riches, the Sydney Roosters go third time lucky as they defeat the St George Illawarra Dragons 16-4 in the 2021 NRLW grand final.


After heartbreak in 2018 and 2020 to the Brisbane Broncos, the Tricolours have etched their name on the silverware in front of 7855 fans to claim a thrilling victory at Moreton Daily Stadium.


Captain Corban Baxter and lock Hannah Southwell inspired their team from the kick off, Sarah Togatuki and Tayla Predebon headlined the pack and allowed the x-factor from the back five after the break.


But Easts certainly did it the hard way not converting early opportunities and going into half-time scoreless.


The moment swung when utility Jocelyn Kelleher and Yasmin Meakes combined in the 44th minute for the powerful back-rower to crash over and level the scores 4-4.


Exactly 10 minutes later, a single-hand offload from Zahara Temara to Isabelle Kelly and the centre ran rampant on the left edge to put her side ahead.


The Dragons who came into the game as favourites were left scratching their heads and searching for points with only a first minute try to Madison Bartlett.


Earlier, five eighth Taliah Fuimaono was sin binned and placed on report for her high tackle on Brydie Parker which left the Roosters winger sidelined with concerns of an ACL injury.


Despite the underdogs having an extra woman and dishing up some dangerous attacking plays a desperate Dragons held up Jess Sergis just shy of the line and moments later Shaylee Bent denied Kelleher under the posts.


The Red V repeatedly looked to their halfback Rachel Pearson, who kicked a 40/30 and followed up with a promising set, Keeley Davis mirrored her semi-final grubbers to regather for a try, but the video referee found a knock on.


Fears the Roosters had played the Grand Final one week early, were quickly silenced, dominating field position and defending their line. Suffocating Dally M winner Emma Tonegato, the fullback who usually can create a hole was given no room to move.


Fast feet and fancy footwork from front rower Tokatuki – who went on to claim the Karyn Murphy medal for player of the match - sent the Roosters soaring up the field setting the final try up for hooker Olivia Higgins. Zahara Temara sealed the deal with a breezy conversion from the 10m line as the Roosters reigned premiers


A commendable comeback from Easts which will be celebrated in style and rightly so. They weren't expected to make the semi-finals let alone the big dance, but proved the bookmakers wrong and seemingly surprised themselves in a gutsy 12 point win.


DRAGONS: 4

ROOSTERS: 16


TRYS

Dragons: Madison Bartlett - 1’

Roosters: Yasmin Meakes - 44’, Isabelle Kelly - 54’, Olivia Higgins - 66’


GOALS

Dragons: N/A

Roosters: Zahara Temera 54’ & 66’


BEST

Roosters: Sarah Togatuki, Corban Baxter, Isabelle Kelly

Dragons: Rachel Pearson, Quincy Dodd, Emma Tonegato


INJURIES:

Dragons: Page McGregor (lower arm)

Roosters: Bridie Parker (Knee)


Crowd: 7,855 at Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe

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