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The Roosters Crow: Title Defence Starts Out West

NRLW action is back starting this Saturday as the Tricolours begin their quest at retaining the Premiership trophy against a hungry Parramatta side determined to start their campaign with a win. 

Last Time Out: Sydney Roosters vs Parramatta Eels

Saturday afternoon marks the second time the two sides have done battle in the NRLW, with the Tricolours coming away with a thrilling 19-18 victory in their first meeting last season Round 4.

The match in Newcastle saw the Roosters overcome a late deficit to claim the two competition points following a barnstorming try to Sarah Togatuki which levelled the scores before Zahara Temara slotted the winning field goal. 

That victory was pivotal for Easts, eventually propelling them to fourth position in place of the Eels, and we all know how the rest of the season went from there.

NRLW Round 4 Highlights: Roosters vs Eels

How They Line Up

John Strange's side will feature a number of Roosters debutants, as well as two members of the Club's Pathways System to make their first-grade debuts from the interchange bench.

Veteran fullback Sam Bremner will become Rooster #57 when she takes the field, joined by 2021 debutant Leianne Tufuga, superstar centre Jessica Sergis, newly named Captain Isabelle Kelly and fellow Roosters debutant Jayme Fressard in the backline.

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Eels is number 1 Gayle Broughton
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 Samantha Bremner
  • Winger for Eels is number 2 Tess Staines
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Leianne Tufuga
  • Centre for Eels is number 3 Tiana Penitani
    Centre for Roosters is number 3 Jessica Sergis
  • Centre for Eels is number 4 Abbi Church
    Centre for Roosters is number 4 Isabelle Kelly
  • Winger for Eels is number 5 Rikeya Horne
    Winger for Roosters is number 5 Jayme Fressard
  • Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Brooke-Morgan Walker
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Zahara Temara
  • Halfback for Eels is number 7 Losana Lutu
    Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Raecene McGregor


  • Prop for Eels is number 8 Filomina Hanisi
    Prop for Roosters is number 8 Sarah Togatuki
  • Hooker for Eels is number 9 Seli Mailangi
    Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Destiny Brill
  • Prop for Eels is number 10 Ellie Johnston
    Prop for Roosters is number 10 Mya Hill-Moana
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Christian Pio
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Shaniah Power
  • 2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Vanessa Foliaki
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Olivia Kernick
  • Lock for Eels is number 13 Simaima Taufa
    Lock for Roosters is number 13 Keilee Joseph


  • Interchange for Eels is number 14 Kennedy Cherrington
    Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Jocelyn Kelleher
  • Interchange for Eels is number 15 Brooke Anderson
    Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Shawden Burton
  • Interchange for Eels is number 16 Najvada George
    Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Kalosipani Hopoate
  • Interchange for Eels is number 17 Rima Butler
    Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Otesa Pule


  • Replacement for Eels is number 18 Ruby-Jean Kennard-Ellis
    Replacement for Roosters is number 18 Joeli Morris

Match Officials

  • Referee: Belinda Sharpe
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

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Halves Zahara Temara and Raecene McGregor will reprise their Premiership-winning halves combination, while the front row features Karyn Murphy Medalist Sarah Togatuki, new signing Destiny Brill at hooker as well as New Zealand representative Mya Hill-Moana.

Queensland Origin representative and fellow newcomer Shaniah Power joins the Club's 2021 Rookie of the Year Olivia Kernick in the back row, with barnstorming forward Keilee Joseph making her starting debut at lock.

Fellow Premiership winner Jocelyn Kelleher and 2021 rookie Shawden Burton are joined by NRLW debutants Kalosipani Hopoate and Otesa Pule on the interchange bench - with the latter two progressing from claiming the 2022 Tarsha Gale Cup earlier this year.

Grand Final debutant Joeli Morris has been named as 18th player, joined by Sam Economos, Jada Taylor, Chante Temara and Jasmin Strange on the extended bench.

Parramatta have lured rugby sevens star Gayle Broughton into their squad, who lines up against Bremner in her NRLW debut. Another convert, AFLW star Brooke Walker lines up at five-eighth, with former Roosters Vanessa Foliaki and Simaima Taufa lining up in the forward pack. 

Key Match Up: Isabelle Kelly vs Tiana Penitani 

Two of the premier centres match up this week when Origin teammates Isabelle Kelly and Tiana Penitani face off on the edges. 

Former teammates at the Dragons, Kelly and Penitani have been staples in the NRLW, with both adding plenty of strike to their respective teams as noted tryscorers.

Last season, Kelly was an imperative member of the Premiership-winning side, playing in all seven matches and scoring four tries, making nine linebreaks and averaging an impressive 157 running metres.

In her first year at Parramatta, Penitani was just as instrumental for the Eels; featuring in five matches, scoring twice, breaking the line on four occasions and averaging 126 metres with the ball in hand.

With added responsibility for Kelly as the side's 2022 Captain and Penitani shrugging much of the work with a fairly new-look side, look to these strike centres to make their mark throughout the 70 minutes.

Kelly Puts the Roosters in Front

What They Said 

"All the girls have slotted in really nicely and we’ve gelled well. It feels like we’re all in a little family at the moment. That was what we really wanted to focus on this season, getting to know each other before playing football.

“That’s where you saw the difference between the beginning and the end of last season. We’ve built those relationships and we feel like a really tight-knit group.” - Jess Sergis 

“The pressure comes with winning a premiership but I personally love pressure. We’ve lost a few girls but we’ve got some new recruits and overall I think it’s a really good squad.

“Everyone is humble and willing to learn and be even better than what we were. I think we’re going to still be very strong contenders.” - Isabelle Kelly

Kelly Potent on the Left Edge

Final Verdict 

It's been a three-month wait, but the NRLW is finally back - and the Roosters begin their title quest against a formidable opponent in Parramatta in their own backyard.

Keep an eye on new Roosters Sam Bremner, Jayme Fressard, Destiny Brill, Shaniah Power as well as debutants Kalosipani Hopoate and Otesa Pule as they look to etch their names in Red, White and Blue. 

For those looking to attend the match, be sure to grab your tickets here, and support the women's game and our NRLW side with 2022 NRLW Membership!


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.