You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Battle for positions heats up among Sydney Roosters junior squads after strong trials

Saturday's junior trials marked the return of the Sydney Roosters Tarsha Gale, Harold Matthews and SG Ball squads since competitions were halted in March 2020.

Picking the first round Tarsha Gale team will be tough for the coaching staff as the girls showed the squad’s depth with a 24-20 win against St George Dragons.

With the whole squad playing and getting more game time with four 20 minute quarters, the Roosters showed great effort and character to pull off a win in the team’s first game in 10 months.

Charlize Lloyd-Phillips provided an early spark, catching a high ball and then running the length of the field to score the opening try of the game. 

Tarsha Gale: Courtney Tamati puts a kick through during the second quarter
Tarsha Gale: Courtney Tamati puts a kick through during the second quarter

Tries before the quarter-time and half-time siren were critical for the Roosters, who had to show some defensive grit under fatigue during the final quarter against a fast-finishing Dragons outfit.

The contest was the first of a triple-header, and Sydney Roosters Junior Representatives and Pathways Manager Blake Cavallaro was impressed with how the Tarsha Gale squad started the day for the Club.

Tarsha Gale: Taneka Todhunter scores a try just before half time
Tarsha Gale: Taneka Todhunter scores a try just before half time

“We wanted to see how they would go under fatigue. They haven’t played for a while and have been training for nine or 10 weeks, Cavallaro said.

“I think under fatigue you see a lot more football and I definitely saw that today.”

Although the Harold Matthews and SG Ball games did not keep score, there were positives to take out of all the games.

The Dragons were in control for most of the Harold Matthews game, which was played in three 25-minute thirds, but the Roosters finished strongly with 4 tries to 1 in the final third. Cassius Tia was brilliant in the final third, scoring two tries. 

SG Ball: Henry Mikaele provided a strong run before offloading during the second third
SG Ball: Henry Mikaele provided a strong run before offloading during the second third

The Club’s SG Ball side finished the day strongly for the Roosters, and showed some great attacking and defensive efforts across the three 25-minute thirds.

“(The Harold Matthews team) finished very well. The halfback Cassius was pretty strong and once they gelled, they started playing some good footy and we saw that in the last third,” Cavallaro said.

“(The SG Ball team) are a pretty strong outfit. I guess the boys just need to learn more about each other’s game and once they know, they are definitely going to be a strong side for 2021.”

The Club’s juniors are battling to be part of the opening round teams, with the Tarsha Gale, Harold Matthews and SG Ball competitions starting on February 6.

SG Ball: Jerry Ratabua sets up Kyron Fekitoe's try during the second third
SG Ball: Jerry Ratabua sets up Kyron Fekitoe's try during the second third