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Third Time's the Charm for Tearaway Togatuki

This Sunday will mark the third Grand Final appearance for Sarah Togatuki, and the hard-hitting forward is determined to lead her side from the front to claim the Club's inaugural NRLW Premiership.

After successfully downgrading a grade 2 careless high tackle at the NRLW Judiciary on Tuesday night, the spiritual leader of the Roosters' forward pack is now ready to dish out the damage on Sunday afternoon against the Dragons in the 2021 decider. 

Togatuki: "We Deserve to be Where We Are"

Togatuki is one of a few Roosters remaining from the 2018 and 2020 Grand Final defeats - and is thrilled at the opportunity of featuring in this year's decider.

"It feels great. It's an honour," she said.

"It's my third time appearing (in a Grand Final) and I definitely feel like we are meant to be where we are. I believe everything happens for a reason.

"I'm pretty stoked. I feel that my team has really played for one another, we deserve to be where we are and no one has really backed us.

"But we still have respect for those out there and are grateful for those who are backing us up near and far. It's really big." 

Togatuki Stops Broncos in Their Tracks

John Strange's side not only features representative experience and unbridled youthful enthusiasm but has been tagged as one of the tight-knit groups in the competition.

These Roosters have used the doubt hanging over their heads from external sources as their motivation, and are constantly in high spirits whether on the training paddock or at a media opportunity - even to the point where the traditionally reserved Zahara Temara has come out of her shell. 

For Togatuki, the reason behind it is simple.

"We all know when to switch on and switch off," she explained.

"I think that's something that Strangey has done really well from the start of pre-season and into the season. 

"We really love each other, I couldn't love my team more than I do and I know they'd say the same thing as well. Everyone's got a different character, and this is probably one of the first times I've seen Zahara (Temara) come out of her shell.

As long as we can stick to that, trust in our coach's plan that he has for us and keep the faith, I believe that we will execute and get the job done.

Sarah Togatuki On the Grand Final

"That just speaks volumes on the people around her. Everyone loves one another." 

Season 2021 has been one of change and growth for Togatuki, who has made the move up to the front row in a shift that has seen her dominate in the middle of the field, evidenced by her three tries and average of 109 running metres per game. 

With a change of position has also come a change of role, as well as a newfound responsibility of leading a crop of young forwards such as Keilee Joseph, Olivia Kernick and Tayla Predebon around. 

But the ever-humble Togatuki was quick to turn the tables and pay tribute to her youthful teammates.

Burton Puts Togatuki Over

"I actually told these girls that I've low-key been a fan of theirs, even before they came through NRLW, " Togatuki admitted.

"It was a bit frightening when I heard that the previous girls in our forward pack had to depart due to the new system, but I'm really stoked.

"It was nerve-wracking when I was told I had to push into the middle, but every opportunity that comes is a blessing, but we take on what we have to and what we must do for our team to move forward. 

"Keilee, Liv, Tay - they're amazing. Even Simmy (Simone Karpani). These girls, they're talents and they're going to be threats in the future. 

"The more experience they get under their belt, the better they'll get. They're really peaking right now and I know there will be a lot to come out from them.

"I'm really happy with the forward pack we have."

Togatuki Scores With Power and Footwork

The Roosters will have the opportunity to get revenge on the Dragons at Moreton Daily Stadium, the team they narrowly fell to just a fortnight ago in a close encounter.

Togatuki predicts a similarly intense match on Sunday afternoon, and encouraged her team to stick to their processes and let their recent momentum carry them to victory. 

"It's definitely going to be an intense game," she said.

"I'm the type that doesn't like to think ahead, I take things one step at a time and go with the flow. So far, as long as the flow is going really well; during our prep, leading up to the big game, I have confidence my team will stick to the game plan.

"It's going to be an intense first few minutes, but us middles really need to stick in with them for longer, get our girls moving forward so our edges, our halves and especially our spine can play off the back of that and do what they do best.

"As long as we can stick to that, trust in our coach's plan that he has for us and keep the faith, I believe that we will execute and get the job done."

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.