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getsmarty

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28,771
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WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


Apps, Bent make Jillaroos merit team
Author
Troy Whittaker NRL.com Reporter
Timestamp
Sat 14 Nov 2020, 12:01 PM

Brad Donald says the 17 players named in the Flight Centre Jillaroos Merit Squad have put themselves firmly in contention for national spots ahead of the 2021 World Cup in England.

The coach and his fellow Jillaroos selectors chose the merit team based on form throughout the NRLW premiership and Friday night's State of Origin clash.

Stars including Jess Sergis, Isabelle Kelly (who was injured in the second round of NRLW), Corban McGregor and Tiana Penitani missed selection after underwhelming campaigns by their lofty standards, but Donald said he knows they can offer much more.

"It was tough [to select the merit side] … It's not necessarily the team that we would take if we played a game tomorrow," Donald told NRL.com.

"[But] it's a World Cup year next year and that means taking away 23 players. If we were going away, those 17 would all get a start, they'd all be on the plane. I think they've all worked hard enough."

jillaroos_20201114.jpg

Dally M Player of the Year Ali Brigginshaw is named at halfback with her Broncos teammates and Queensland match-winners Tarryn Aiken (five-eighth) and Tamika Upton (fullback) also included.

"That's a really strong combination and that could be the potential future of the Jillaroos. Neither Tarryn or Tamika have represented the Jillaroos, so their form was great. They've stepped up every time," Donald said.

Brigginshaw finished the season as a ball-playing lock at club and state level, but Donald said the Jillaroos prefer a traditional playmaking style and the selectors couldn't overlook Roosters gun Hannah Southwell as their No.13.

Two players – Evania Pelite, the rugby sevens convert who played for the Warriors, and breakout Roosters forward Kennedy Cherrington – were chosen despite not playing Origin.

remote.axd

Match Highlights: Maroons v Blues


Match Highlights: Maroons v Blues

Donald highlighted Lauren Brown and Quincy Dodd as players who improved immensely to put their names up in lights this season.

"Lauren Brown had a breakout season in rugby league with Burleigh, the Broncos and now with Queensland," he said.

"I saw her run around at Burleigh a couple of times in the halves and thought she was pretty good.

"Quincy Dodd – I think she's probably the form hooker. We've had her in the system for a couple of years but she hasn't quite been able to crack a spot.

"She was probably the most consistent hooker through the NRLW and even when she came on [for NSW] last night she made a bit of a difference."

remote.axd

Aiken breaks the line and Upton looms up for her double


Aiken breaks the line and Upton looms up for her double

The merit forward pack boasts plenty of firepower with Millie Boyle and Filomina Hanisi up front and experienced campaigner Kezie Apps and Tallisha Harden joining Southwell in the back row.

Boyle's Broncos teammate Chelsea Lenarduzzi forced her way onto the bench having also gained merit selection in 2019.

"Millie's been solid the last two years. She was really solid through the NRLW season. Herself and Chelsea Lenarduzzi were great for the Broncos and they were both great last night as well," Donald said.

"Filomina, she's another one that probably was a bit of a surprise. She's had a breakout season as well. We're just rewarding some of the good form – one of the things that we make sure we do in the Jillaroos side is reward people for their form and effort.

"The back-rowers – Tallisha Harden had a great season and she was great again last night just continually digging into the line. And Kezie tried her guts out which is pretty standard from Kezie in any team."

Roosters and Queensland playmaker Zahara Temara and Dragons and NSW forward Shaylee Bent earned interchange places.

Elsewhere, Julia Robinson claimed a centre position and fellow Queenslander Karina Brown landed on the wing.


https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/11/14/apps-bent-make-jillaroos-merit-team/
 

getsmarty

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Messages
28,771
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WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


Expanded number of games on horizon for NRLW in 2021
Author
Chris Kennedy NRL.com Reporter
Timestamp
Thu 26 Nov 2020, 01:01 PM
kennedychris-head.png

The NRLW could feature extra games in 2021 after the ARL Commission directed the NRL to expand the women's elite competition.

Announcing the 2021 men's draw, NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said it was unlikely the coming year would feature an expansion in the number of teams, although that is on the radar, but there is an appetite to increase the number of NRLW and Women's State of Origin games.

"The women's premiership is very important to the growth of our game," Abdo said.

"The Commission have made it clear that we need to invest in female elite pathways on and off the field from grassroots all the way through to the Jillaroos. The NRLW is an integral part of that puzzle.

"The women's premiership will be played at the back end of the men's regular season but it will look different in 2021. We are thinking of ways in which we can expand and amplify and grow this competition.

remote.axd

Match Highlights: Broncos v Roosters


Match Highlights: Broncos v Roosters

"The Commission has directed us to think about how we can invest in the female elite pathways.

"The NRLW is just one aspect of that but of course what we're seeing is high quality football and the fans want to see more of it. We're thinking about how we expand the rounds then ultimately the number of clubs and teams is a priority for us.

"The competition this year was terrific, we had a few athletes join us from other codes and that's a good thing for our sport."

remote.axd

Match Highlights: Maroons v Blues


Match Highlights: Maroons v Blues

At this stage there is a single Origin clash scheduled for 2021 which lands on Friday, June 25 in the NRL's representative round break, two days before the men's second Origin on Sunday, June 27.

It is not yet known if that stand alone women's Origin game will be played in NSW or Queensland.

"That's a conversation we're having with state governments and the two state leagues, we're looking forward to making an announcement over the coming weeks," Abdo added.

"With the State of Origin series, it's a logical next step to have a game in Queensland and a game in NSW."

As far as new teams entering the NRLW competition, Abdo said it was more likely they would expand the number of games.

"It would be unrealistic to expect clubs to prepare for the 2021 season and have an expansion in the number of teams, but of course the Commission have asked us to look at everything and we'll do the homework," he said.

"We'll look at business cases, we'll look at the sustainability, the talent and we'll make sure we keep investing in the quality of the product and our athletes who at this stage are semi-professional so we'll at all of that and then be able to make a decision."


https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/11/26/expanded-number-of-games-on-horizon-for-nrlw-in-2021/
 

blue bags

First Grade
Messages
6,056
appsk.jpg


WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


Apps, Bent make Jillaroos merit team
Author
Troy Whittaker NRL.com Reporter
Timestamp
Sat 14 Nov 2020, 12:01 PM

Brad Donald says the 17 players named in the Flight Centre Jillaroos Merit Squad have put themselves firmly in contention for national spots ahead of the 2021 World Cup in England.

The coach and his fellow Jillaroos selectors chose the merit team based on form throughout the NRLW premiership and Friday night's State of Origin clash.

Stars including Jess Sergis, Isabelle Kelly (who was injured in the second round of NRLW), Corban McGregor and Tiana Penitani missed selection after underwhelming campaigns by their lofty standards, but Donald said he knows they can offer much more.

"It was tough [to select the merit side] … It's not necessarily the team that we would take if we played a game tomorrow," Donald told NRL.com.

"[But] it's a World Cup year next year and that means taking away 23 players. If we were going away, those 17 would all get a start, they'd all be on the plane. I think they've all worked hard enough."

jillaroos_20201114.jpg

Dally M Player of the Year Ali Brigginshaw is named at halfback with her Broncos teammates and Queensland match-winners Tarryn Aiken (five-eighth) and Tamika Upton (fullback) also included.

"That's a really strong combination and that could be the potential future of the Jillaroos. Neither Tarryn or Tamika have represented the Jillaroos, so their form was great. They've stepped up every time," Donald said.

Brigginshaw finished the season as a ball-playing lock at club and state level, but Donald said the Jillaroos prefer a traditional playmaking style and the selectors couldn't overlook Roosters gun Hannah Southwell as their No.13.

Two players – Evania Pelite, the rugby sevens convert who played for the Warriors, and breakout Roosters forward Kennedy Cherrington – were chosen despite not playing Origin.

remote.axd

Match Highlights: Maroons v Blues


Match Highlights: Maroons v Blues

Donald highlighted Lauren Brown and Quincy Dodd as players who improved immensely to put their names up in lights this season.

"Lauren Brown had a breakout season in rugby league with Burleigh, the Broncos and now with Queensland," he said.

"I saw her run around at Burleigh a couple of times in the halves and thought she was pretty good.

"Quincy Dodd – I think she's probably the form hooker. We've had her in the system for a couple of years but she hasn't quite been able to crack a spot.

"She was probably the most consistent hooker through the NRLW and even when she came on [for NSW] last night she made a bit of a difference."

remote.axd

Aiken breaks the line and Upton looms up for her double


Aiken breaks the line and Upton looms up for her double

The merit forward pack boasts plenty of firepower with Millie Boyle and Filomina Hanisi up front and experienced campaigner Kezie Apps and Tallisha Harden joining Southwell in the back row.

Boyle's Broncos teammate Chelsea Lenarduzzi forced her way onto the bench having also gained merit selection in 2019.

"Millie's been solid the last two years. She was really solid through the NRLW season. Herself and Chelsea Lenarduzzi were great for the Broncos and they were both great last night as well," Donald said.

"Filomina, she's another one that probably was a bit of a surprise. She's had a breakout season as well. We're just rewarding some of the good form – one of the things that we make sure we do in the Jillaroos side is reward people for their form and effort.

"The back-rowers – Tallisha Harden had a great season and she was great again last night just continually digging into the line. And Kezie tried her guts out which is pretty standard from Kezie in any team."

Roosters and Queensland playmaker Zahara Temara and Dragons and NSW forward Shaylee Bent earned interchange places.

Elsewhere, Julia Robinson claimed a centre position and fellow Queenslander Karina Brown landed on the wing.


https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2020/11/14/apps-bent-make-jillaroos-merit-team/
"Quincy Dodd is 1 of my favs, she is fantastic
 

muzby

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getsmarty

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28,771
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ALL STARS


Chapman ready to make No.1 mark in All Stars debut
Author
Alicia Newton NRLW Chief Reporter
Timestamp
Wed 17 Feb 2021, 07:01 PM
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After watching All Stars clashes on television and being part of extended Indigenous squad camps as a teenager, Jaime Chapman had been counting down the days until her 18th birthday.

And who could blame her?

With women's rugby league on the rise each year, Chapman is coming into a period where the opportunities available are better than ever before.

The former Cronulla local will get the chance to play in her favoured fullback position for the Indigenous All Stars on Saturday after making her NRLW debut for the Dragons on the wing last year.

"I'm really excited to play fullback, I didn't get a chance at the Dragons with Sammy [Bremner] there so I'm looking forward to it," Chapman told NRL.com.

"I feel like I can definitely shine playing that role and it's a position I'm comfortable with and have played there a lot growing up."

Chapman is a prime example of the new pathways in place across the women's game developing the next generation of stars.

She began playing rugby league as a six-year-old before stopping due to previous restrictions preventing girls from playing at age 12.

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Indigenous All Star Jaime Chapman. :copyright:Scott Davis/NRL Photos
It resulted in her father, David Chapman, starting a rugby sevens team in the Sutherland shire to keep his daughter and other players active with the ball in hand.

From there, Chapman reverted to league once the Tarsha Gale Cup and Harvey Norman Women's Premiership began to take shape at the Sharks.

"It's been a bit different for me, whereas you get a lot of girls who are in their 20s but have only played for a few years," Chapman said.

"It's just really good to see that there is a clear pathway in place now for young girls to work their way up and know what the next steps are."

Chapman's goals for the season won't end with an Indigenous All Stars debut in Townsville with the promising youngster looking to build on her inclusion in the Jillaroos train-on squad ahead of the World Cup.

"We had a camp the other week and it was awesome, I felt like I'd been there for years," she said.

"The girls are so inclusive. Meeting a lot of them face-to-face is very different to what you see on the field.

"What I took away from that experience is I want to build on myself as a person. I want to build my strength mentally and physically and I need to get in the gym a bit more and get some more muscle.

"Isabelle Kelly, you see her train every day. I would love to play for the Jillaroos next to her one day."

A change of scenery in the off-season, with the 18-year-old moved to Ocean Shores in northern NSW to live with her father, has given Chapman a fresh perspective on the game.

Chapman's grandmother is from Kamilaroi land, near Gunnedah.

"I was introduced to my Aboriginal heritage in my older years when I asked dad if I can play in the Indigenous Oztag team because I was aware of it," Chapman said.

"I've learned lots about my culture, my mob, and my tribe over the past couple of years since."

remote.axd

All Stars: Where it all began


All Stars: Where it all began

Witness the best of the best from both sides of the Tasman. As athletes and as people from the First Nations.

Hear us. See us.

Be there as cultures collide.

Tickets are available at NRL Tickets.


https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2021/02/18/chapman-ready-to-make-no.1-mark-in-all-stars-debut/
 

getsmarty

Referee
Messages
28,771
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WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


The Broader Game: Dragons searching for new NRLW coach
Author
Alicia Newton NRLW Chief Reporter
Timestamp
Thu 15 Apr 2021, 04:21 PM
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The Dragons are on the search for a new NRLW coach after parting ways with Daniel Lacey for the fourth season of the NRL Telstra Women's Premiership.

Lacey was the only inaugural coach left in the competition but a winless campaign in disrupted circumstances last season left both parties mutually agreeing on the decision following a review.

The Dragons fielded one of their strongest squads in 2020 but struggled to gel in the short three-week regular season, finishing last in a step backwards after winning the NRL Nines tournament last year.

NRL.com understands the Dragons have narrowed Lacey's replacement down to three candidates with a decision expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

It's understood incumbent players are eager to find out the identity of their next coach before recommitting to the Red V with rival clubs monitoring the situation.


Lacey was instrumental in ushering through the local talent at the Dragons but the club now faces several recruitment and retention decisions over their star-studded squad.

Of particular note, they will need to find a replacement for co-captain Sam Bremner after she announced her second pregnancy earlier this week.

Dragons stalwart Stephanie Hancock has retired, while Elsie Albert has returned home to Papua New Guinea.

Rising Indigenous All Stars representatives Shaylee Bent and Jaime Chapman have also moved to the North Coast in the off-season with their futures up in the air, while Mahalia Murphy is back in rugby union.

In a boost, the Dragons are close to finalising their plans around the launch of a female player academy that will run alongside their male programs this season.

'Inspiring' Sam will be missed
Brad Donald's unlucky streak of not being able to coach Sam Bremner at the international level has now stretched into a fifth season.

Bremner broke the news to Donald earlier this week of her pregnancy, which will see her miss the remainder of the 2021 schedule.

In 2017, Donald's first year in charge, Bremner suffered a concussion at captain's run in a freak accident the day before their Anzac Test match.

She then missed the Jillaroos' entire World Cup campaign due to a stress fracture in her leg before a toe injury ruled her out of their only 2018 Test match.

Her first pregnancy with son, Reef, saw her miss the entire 2019 schedule before last year's COVID-19 pandemic and now her second pregnancy means Donald will have to wait a little longer.

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Sam Bremner shares a laugh with Warriors and Jillaroos oach Brad Donald in 2020. :copyright:Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos
"It's crazy to think about because she's still been a major fixture in all of our campaigns," Donald said.

"Sammy is unbelievable with what she does and the way she does it. She's an inspiring character who is willing to share her story and it's inspiring for the rest of us.

"I've sensed it in the past where female athletes have come up to the coach and apologised for being pregnant but now it's much more celebrated and rightfully so.

"Everyone understands how important it is in life. You don't have to put your life on hold to play sport. You can do both and Sammy is a great example of that.

"She's really keen to do some coaching and mentoring on the sidelines to keep her head in it and we're very keen to cater to that."

Donald has a plethora of talent to choose from in replacing Bremner at fullback this season with Tamika Upton, Botille Vette-Welsh and Corban McGregor among the candidates.



https://www.nrl.com/news/2021/04/15/the-broader-game-dragons-searching-for-new-nrlw-coach/
 

getsmarty

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JUNIOR REPS


Junior reps one game off grand final
Author
Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
Timestamp
Thu 22 Apr 2021, 12:37 PM
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Three St George Illawarra Dragons' junior representative affiliated teams are one game off from qualifying for their respective grand finals.

The Illawarra Steelers' SG Ball's 2019 title defence remains alive and well following their 46-14 thumping of the South Sydney Rabbitohs last weekend.

They will face the Sydney Roosters at Blacktown's HE Laybutt Sporting Complex on Saturday, April 24 (2:30pm).

The Steelers will be joined in Blacktown by their Tarsha Gale Cup counterparts, who enjoyed a finals week one bye.

Interestingly, if the TG Cup Steelers are victorious against the Sydney Roosters (12:45pm), they may come up against the St George Dragons in the grand final.

The Dragons must first defeat minor premiers Newcastle at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday morning (11am).


https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2021/04/22/junior-reps-one-game-off-grand-final/
 

getsmarty

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Messages
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WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


Head coach: Dragons appoint ex-halfback to guide NRLW side
Author
Alicia Newton NRLW Chief Reporter
Timestamp
Wed 28 Apr 2021, 04:00 PM
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St George Illawarra are hoping Mathew Head's experience as NSW women's coach will get them back on track after a winless 2020 season.

Head, who coached the Blues in 2014 and '15, replaces inaugural coach Daniel Lacey in the top job after the club parted ways with him earlier this month after they finished with the wooden spoon last season.

The 38-year-old former playmaker has an extensive coaching background since retiring from the game in 2009.

He more recently guided the Dragons' NSW Cup side to the minor premiership in 2019 and is no stranger to the women's game.

Head handed the likes of Jillaroos stars Kezie Apps and Simaima Taufa their state debuts when he was at the NSW helm.

"I'm really looking forward to creating a winning and exciting culture but most importantly a culture that's professional and disciplined," Head said in a Dragons statement.

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Mathew Head passes for St George Illawarra in 2005. :copyright:NRL Photos
"Our men's team is going to some good places currently with Hook [Anthony Griffin] at the helm. I'm really excited and inspired by our NRL squad and am looking forward to transferring things across to our women's program.

"There's a lot of improvement that can be achieved. Hopefully, the girls buy into what it means to be a Dragon."

Head's next task will be to retain and recruit players to form the club's fourth NRLW campaign.

Dragons general manager of football Ben Haran said Head, who played 78 NRL games for St George Illawarra and the Wests Tigers, was the right person to take the side to the next level.

"The amount of women and young girls playing rugby league is growing rapidly. We recognise that we have a lot of talented young females playing our game across our regions," Haran said.

"We thought the change was necessary for the program's success moving forward and Mat brings a lot of great qualities as a coach.

"The women's game is becoming more and more professional so the opportunity to be able to allocate one of our full-time resources, who works within our men's program, to our NRLW team is a real asset for us as a club.

"The introduction of our female Dragons Academy will ensure these young players get plenty of opportunities moving forward. We want to win NRLW competitions and that starts by having this new pathway in place for our young female talent."


https://www.nrl.com/news/2021/04/28/head-coach-dragons-appoint-ex-halfback-to-guide-nrlw-side/
 

getsmarty

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28,771
remote.axd

Head, Haran on future of Dragons' NRLW program



WOMEN'S RUGBY LEAGUE


Head appointed Dragons Women's Premiership coach
Author
Dragons.com.au dragons.com.au
Timestamp
Wed 28 Apr 2021, 03:57 PM
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St George Illawarra have announced Mat Head as its new NRL Women's Premiership head coach ahead of the upcoming 2021 competition.

Head's coaching achievements at the Dragons and abroad are extensive and include the 2013 SG Ball premiership win with the Balmain Tigers and the 2019 minor premiership with St George Illawarra's NSW Cup team.

Head had previously coached the New South Wales' women's State of Origin team in 2014 and 2015, where he awarded incumbent Dragons captain Kezie Apps with her maiden Blues jersey.

Currently, the 38-year-old is head coach of the inaugural Dragons Academy program.

"Mat is a really exciting appointment for our NRLW program. We thought the change was necessary for the program's success moving forward and Mat brings a lot of great qualities as a coach," Dragons general manager of football Ben Haran said.

"The women's game is becoming more and more professional so the opportunity to be able to allocate one of our full-time resources, who works within our men's program, to our NRLW team is a real asset for us as a club.

"We're keen to build a strong connection across both our men's and women's teams."

Head had a taste of Women's Premiership last season when he acted as an assistant to inaugural coach Daniel Lacey.

"I'm really looking forward to creating a winning and exciting culture but most importantly a culture that's professional and disciplined," Head said.

"Our men's team is going to some good places currently with Hook (coach Anthony Griffin) at the helm. I'm really excited and inspired by our NRL squad and am looking forward to transferring things across to our women's program.

"There's a lot of improvement that can be achieved. Hopefully the girls buy into what it means to be a Dragon. That's one thing we have tried to instil in our Dragons Academy, and it's something I want to bring across to our women's program."

The commencement of the female Dragons academy is just weeks away and will be crucial for the future success of the club's NRL Women's Premiership fortunes, according to Head.

"The earlier you can get them, to explain the basics of the game, will be a great opportunity," Head said. "The academy will receive a lot of great coaching and as the years go on, hopefully they'll aspire to be an NRLW player."

Haran added: "The amount of women and young girls playing rugby league is growing rapidly. We recognise that we have a lot of talented young females playing our game across our regions.

"The introduction of our female Dragons Academy will ensure these young players get plenty of opportunities moving forward. We want to win NRLW competitions and that starts by having this new pathway in place for our young female talent."


https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2021/04/28/head-appointed-nrl-womens-premiership-coach/
 

getsmarty

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TARSHA GALE CUP


St George too strong for Roosters in Tarsha Cup GF
Author
NSWRL
Timestamp
Sat 1 May 2021, 12:52 PM
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St George Dragons have continued their giant-killing form in the Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup after scoring a convincing 30-4 win over Sydney Roosters Indigenous Academy in the Grand Final at Leichhardt Oval today.

The Roosters took a 4-0 lead after only three minutes but it was all the Dragons from that point on with Reuben Cherrington finishing the match with a double.

There was even more cause for celebration for the Dragons at fulltime after Rayven-Jodeci Boyce was named Player of the Match while Fatafehi Hanisi was named Player of the Series.

“First I’d like to shout out to the Roosters,” Jodeci-Boyce said.

“You’ve been winning the whole season, we were terrified versing you.

“Thank you to all my family, I definitely wouldn’t have made it without you.”

The Dragons had finished the season in fifth position but took plenty of confidence into the decider after comfortably beating minor premiers Newcastle Knights last week. The Roosters had also been in good touch heading into the game after finishing the season in third position and beating Illawarra last week.

fatafehi-hanisi-tarsha-gale-cup.jpg

Roosters backrower Otesa Pule has been in great form for the tricolours this season and she put her team on the front foot early after breaking through the defence to charge upfield.

Pule was eventually cut down by the Dragons defence but the damage was done with prop Keilee Joseph crashing over the line a short time later to put the Roosters up 4-0.

From that point on it was all the Dragons. A Roosters turnover from the kick-off put the Red V on the attack and a sublime long pass from Luisa Yaranamua gave centre Rosemarie Beckett enough time and space to step back infield to score. Stella Tijou added the extras to put St George in front 6-4.

sydney-roosters-tarsha-gale-cup.jpg

The Dragons received another attacking opportunity when a scrum was packed 10 metres out from the Roosters line and fullback Cassey Tohi-Hiku showed blistering accelerating to sprint across field before straightening up and bursting through the goal-line defence to crash her way over the line.

Tijou missed the conversion but St George was on top at 10-4.

The Dragons finished the opening half with another try after stretching the Roosters defence wide before backrower Katarina Raravula put Rayven-Jodeci Boyce over the line for a 14-4 halftime lead.

The Roosters started the second half with plenty of intent but couldn’t convert that into points and the road back got a little harder after Yaranamua dummied before dragging three players over the line. Tijou added the extra to put the Dragons up 20-4.

The Roosters never gave up and showed great determination to chase down Tijou and pull her down just short of the line after she seemed certain to score in one of the highlights of the second half.

The Dragons were unable to take advantage of the momentum but halfback Reuben Cherrington added a double in the final 10 minutes to help extend the lead to 30-4 and ensure it was a day of celebration for the Red V.


https://www.dragons.com.au/news/2021/05/01/dragons-too-strong-for-roosters-in-tarsha-cup-gf/
 
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