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Broncos v Roosters: NRLW grand final preview

Three weeks of history-making rugby league comes down to two sides going into the NRL Holden Women's Premiership grand final with different journeys to tell.

The Broncos have cruised throughout the month-long season to finish undefeated and loom as the heavy favourites going into the decider.

It's been a different story for the Roosters, who up until last week's 26-0 win over the Dragons were struggling to click after strong expectations in the lead-up to the competition. They narrowly scraped through to the decider on for-and-against with results working in their favour despite the lone victory.

These two sides met in round two of the competition, with the Broncos coming out 14-4 victors at Allianz Stadium.

Brisbane's big names in Ali Brigginshaw, Brittany Breayley, Teuila Fotu-Moala and Chelsea Baker have been at their best, while the consistency of players like Julia Robinson and Ngatokotoru Arakua have added to the side's overall success.

The Roosters got more out of their big names in Ruan Sims, Karina Brown and Elianna Walton last week, and strike centre Isabelle Kelly's game went to another level as a result. Lavina O'Mealey also looked more settled in her third game of the season.

With more than 18 players featuring in the women's State of Origin clash in June, it shapes as a blockbuster state-like contest with the addition of several Kiwi Ferns representatives.

Key match-up: Zahara Temara v Ali Brigginshaw – The packs will sort each other out and the battle will come down to the pair of Queensland halves on opposite sides. Can Temara put in a repeat performance after last week's effort against the Dragons? Brigginshaw has had the ball on a dime over the past three weeks to average 160.8 kick metres a game and 79.6 running metres. Temara's 274 kick metres completely changed the Roosters' stability in both attack and defence last week. Whoever steps up out of the pair could go a long way to winning the title.

For the Broncos to win: Their pack will need to dominate the likes of Sims, Walton, Taufa and Gray, who each ran for more than 100 metres last start. The Broncos boast experience in the front row with Steph Hancock and Heather Ballinger, while Kiwi Ferns representatives Fotu-Moala, Arakua and Maitua Feterika have been at their bullocking best throughout the competition.

NRLW Grand Final preview

For the Roosters to win: They'll need to shut down key members of Brisbane's spine and alternatively take their chances when they get them. The Tricolours will be buoyed by their defence in the past fortnight – particularly against the Broncos where they conceded just 14 points.

And another thing: The best player in the NRLW grand final will receive the first ever Karyn Murphy Medal, the equivalent to the Clive Churchill medal, following Sunday afternoon's game.

Brisbane Broncos v Sydney Roosters, Sunday 1.35pm AEST at ANZ Stadium

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Chelsea Baker
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 Karina Brown
  • Winger for Broncos is number 2 Julia Robinson
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Brydie Parker
  • Centre for Broncos is number 3 Meg Ward
    Centre for Roosters is number 3 Shontelle Stowers
  • Centre for Broncos is number 4 Amber Pilley
    Centre for Roosters is number 4 Isabelle Kelly
  • Winger for Broncos is number 5 Amelia Kuk
    Winger for Roosters is number 5 Taleena Simon
  • Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Kimiora Breayley-Nati
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Lavina O'Mealey
  • Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Ali Brigginshaw
    Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Zahara Temara


  • Prop for Broncos is number 8 Heather Ballinger
    Prop for Roosters is number 8 Ruan Sims
  • Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Brittany Breayley-Nati
    Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Nita Maynard
  • Prop for Broncos is number 15 Chelsea Lenarduzzi
    Prop for Roosters is number 10 Elianna Walton
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Teuila Fotu-Moala
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Tazmin Gray
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Maitua Feterika
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Vanessa Foliaki
  • Lock for Broncos is number 13 Rona Peters
    Lock for Roosters is number 13 Simaima Taufa


  • Interchange for Broncos is number 10 Stephanie Hancock
    Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Kylie Hilder
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 14 Lavinia Gould
    Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Sarah Togatuki
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Mariah Denman
    Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Victoria Latu
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Ngatokotoru Arakua
    Interchange for Roosters is number 19 Kandy Kennedy

Match Officials

  • Referee: Jon Stone
  • Referee: Kasey Badger
  • Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
  • Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara

Last updated:

Broncos: One game-day change for the undefeated Broncos, with Chelsea Lenarduzzi getting the nod to start at prop and Stephanie Hancock switching to the bench. Meg Ward returns from a hand injury, while Mariah Storch replaces Tallisha Harden on the interchange bench. Maitua Feterika has overcome a knee injury to take her place in the side. Harden and Karley Te Kawa were cut an hour prior to kick-off, while Kody House and Lilieta Maumau were omitted on Saturday.

Roosters: The only change to the team named on Tuesday is Kandy Kennedy promoted to the bench in place of Chloe Caldwell, who was dropped an hour before kick-off along with Maddie Studdon. Zahara Temara remains and Brydie Parker keeps her spot on the wing after a strong debut against the Dragons. Quincy Dodd and Botille Vette-Welsh were cut on Saturday.

Tarsha Gale's prediction: The Roosters need to contain the middle, apply a lot more pressure on Ali Brigginshaw and get the ball out wide to Isabelle Kelly and Taleena Simon. I'm expecting great things from Vanessa Foliaki both in attack and defence and for Elianna Walton to continue her powerful and inspiring runs up the middle. It's a lot to ask, but that's what grand finals are all about. Roosters by 2

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Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.