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Backline shuffle to spark improvement in game two

On the back of a solid win to kick off their NRLW campaign, the Roosters will look to step up another level ahead of game two where they’ll face the New Zealand Warriors at Bankwest Stadium.

With a season lead-up that included quality training sessions, a number of squad members competing in the Harvey Norman Women’s competition and some key additions to a new look spine, the Roosters were able to come away with a win that puts them on the right track heading forward.

There was a lot of noise heading into game one as the Roosters were looking to topple the 2020 NRLW Nines champions, but the noise clearly wasn’t a factor for the playing group.

If their attitude equated to the performance that was put forward, then it’s safe to say the Roosters mindset is right where it needs to be in the early going of the season.

“They didn’t let any outside talk affect them, they just went out there and did their best,” said Assistant Coach John Strange.

“It was evident in their defence, they were just working and covering for each other.

“The beauty of our squad is that a lot of them have just been playing in the Harvey Norman comp, so they’ve still got that timing and connection.

“The effort they put into their training was the difference.

“There were only six sessions, but they used every second of every session to get the best out of it and it showed on the field.”

NRLW Highlights | Roosters v Dragons

Another notable change to the Roosters squad this season is the appointment of Corban McGregor as captain of the side.

She was named as the captain of the NRLW Nines squad that took to the turf in Perth earlier this year, and has been fittingly given the nod once again for the Roosters NRLW squad.

Described by her coaches as an easy choice for the job, it’s there to see why after her strong performance against the Dragons in game one.

“Corban’s been outstanding at training.

“She’s definitely a leader, and that was evident on the field in game one.

“That play where she chased the long kick from Charlotte to tackle Sam Bremner two metres from her goal-line in the second half is exactly why she’s a leader and a captain.”

The team swarm Corban McGregor after she seals the win for the Roosters.
The team swarm Corban McGregor after she seals the win for the Roosters.

After Botille Vette-Welsh was unfortunately forced from the field with a hamstring issue last Saturday, there will be a few changes to the side in game two and a notable shuffle in the backline.

Corban McGregor will step into the five-eighth position, while game one standout Charlotte Caslick moves to the vacant fullback role, allowing Central Coast Roosters exciting youngster Bobbi Law to line-up at right centre.

The benefits of these changes could be dangerous, with Caslick able to work her magic on both sides of the field and McGregor to see more time with the ball in her hands.

“The beauty of Charlotte being at fullback is she’s not going to be stuck on one side of the field.

“She can pop up on both sides and follow the ball, which suits her as an instinctual player.

“She’ll be a ball player as well, which will give us three options on the field with Corban and Zee (Zahara Temara).

“The benefit of Corban seeing more ball will be good too.”

The Roosters will look to improve for game two.
The Roosters will look to improve for game two.

Despite a loss in game one, the Warriors will head into game two with plenty of confidence and ability with the goal of toppling the Roosters to stay in the race for the NRLW Grand Final.

The Roosters are familiar with plenty of the talent that will take to the Bankwest Stadium turf, with four of the seven members of the Warriors backline playing in the Roosters squad last season.

While the mentality and attitude are strong within the group, Coach Strange is insistent that the mindset and preparation must remain rock solid against a side that will turn up to play.

“The Warriors are a really good side and can’t be underestimated.

“There’s three more sessions and there will be plenty of talk about not resting on their laurels.

“There’s a lot of improvement in us, but that’s going to come with more training and more fluency.”