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The Roosters Crow: Final Round Showdown

It all comes down to this.

After over a month of brutal, entertaining and nail biting football, the NRLW regular season will come to a close this weekend as the Sydney Roosters face the St George Illawarra Dragons on Saturday afternoon.

Form Guide: Sydney Roosters vs St George Illawarra Dragons

The Tricolours impressed many last week, digging deep to come from behind late and claim a heart-stopping 19-18 win over Parramatta at Newcastle's McDonald Jones Stadium.

After a slower-than-usual start to the year, the Roosters are really beginning to hit their straps and are looking more and more like genuine premiership contenders every week.

Speaking of contenders, the Dragons have perhaps been one of the competition's surprise packets this year, losing just one game on their way to the top of the table heading into the final round.

The Red V really flexed their muscles last week, thrashing the Knights 40-4 in their own backyard.

It's all on the line for both sides this week, with a win likely to go a long way towards securing a safe passage to the finals for the Roosters.

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How They Line Up

Following on from the nail biting win last week, John Strange has opted for a mostly similar squad for Saturday.

The big piece of team news is no doubt the return of Jess Sergis, who is set to face her former Club for the first time this week.

Her return sees Brydie Parker shuffle to the wing after a strong performance at centre last week.

Keilee Joseph is also back in the side after a COVID-enforced lay off.

Meanwhile, the Dragons welcome back Talei Holmes from a hand injury, with Kody House shifting back to the bench.

Janelle Williams and Tegan Dymock are back in the 17 after both missed last week's clash, while Rachael Pearson has been named despite coming from the field during the side's win over Newcastle with a lower back injury. 

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Key Match Up: Zahara Temara vs Taliah Fuimaono

With rain expected to play an unwelcome role in the contest, it will be up to the dynamic halves of both sides to control the game and guide their teams to victory.

Temara did just that last weekend, keeping a cool head to slot the crucial one pointer in the dying minutes of the clash with Parramatta.

Temara forced her way back into the starting side last week, with John Strange mentioning it was her efforts and leadership on the training paddock that earned her a place at five-eighth. 

Her calming influence on the side was on display and will again be crucial in this must-win clash on Saturday afternoon.

Her opposite number in Fuimaono, the sister of fellow Dragons player Tyrell, has been one of the finds of the delayed-2021 season.

Fuimaono and her exquisite kicking game have been critical to the Dragons' increased fortunes this year, picking up two try assists and three line break assists in her four appearances this season. 

Your Verdict

It's a must-win game for Easts this week, but with the return of Sergis and back-to-back wins now behind them, John Strange's side will be ready to continue their resurgent back-half of the season and secure a place in the finals.

Be sure to cheer on the Red, White and Blue by grabbing your tickets here for the first stand alone NRLW game of the season.

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.