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Round 8 Match Preview: Top Two Test

The Sydney Roosters will head North on Saturday to face the Newcastle Knights in a thrilling top-of-the-table clash.

Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs Newcastle Knights 

Saturday's match marks the third encounter between the Roosters and Knights, with the Tricolours defeating the defending Premiers in both March and September last year.  

In their first clash at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Red, White and Blue piled on six tries, with winger Brydie Parker claiming a double. 

Round 4 NRLW Highlights: Roosters vs Knights

Then in their second meeting - Easts all but secured the 2022 Minor Premiership with a two-point win at Allianz Stadium.

Both teams enter the Round 8 fixture with six wins and one loss, sitting equal first on the ladder on 12 competition points - although the Roosters have a much higher for-and-against score. 

How They Line Up

John Strange has made a couple of changes to the line-up, naming Lily Rogan to make her NRLW debut off the interchange bench and Jayme Fressard to make her return in the centres. 

Corban Baxter will don the no.1 jersey once again, with Brydie Parker and Mia Wood on the wings and Isabelle Kelly and Fressard in the centres. 

Tarryn Aiken and Jocelyn Kelleher continue their combination in the halves, while Millie Boyle, Keeley Davis and Mya Hill-Moana will bolster the front row. 

Otesa Pule, Olivia Kernick and Keilee Joseph complete the starting line-up in the back row. 

Rogan will feature on the interchange bench alongside Grace Hamilton, Pani Hopoate and Amelia Pasikala. Teulia Fotu-Moala, Lexi Kiriwi, Joeli Morris, Tyler Bentley and Jess Sergis have been named on the extended bench. 

Team Lists


  • Fullback for Knights is number 1 Tamika Upton
    Fullback for Roosters is number 1 Corban Baxter
  • Winger for Knights is number 2 Sheridan Gallagher
    Winger for Roosters is number 2 Brydie Parker
  • Centre for Knights is number 3 Shanice Parker
    Centre for Roosters is number 3 Jayme Fressard
  • Centre for Knights is number 4 Abigail Roache
    Centre for Roosters is number 4 Isabelle Kelly
  • Winger for Knights is number 5 Jasmin Strange
    Winger for Roosters is number 5 Mia Wood
  • Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Georgia Roche
    Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Tarryn Aiken
  • Halfback for Knights is number 7 Jesse Southwell
    Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Jocelyn Kelleher


  • Prop for Knights is number 8 Tayla Predebon
    Prop for Roosters is number 10 Mya Hill-Moana
  • Hooker for Knights is number 9 Olivia Higgins
    Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Keeley Davis
  • Prop for Knights is number 10 Caitlan Johnston
    Prop for Roosters is number 15 Grace Hamilton
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 11 Laishon Albert-Jones
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Otesa Pule
  • 2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Yasmin Clydsdale
    2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Olivia Kernick
  • Lock for Knights is number 13 Hannah Southwell
    Lock for Roosters is number 13 Keilee Joseph


  • Interchange for Knights is number 14 Nita Maynard
    Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Lily Rogan
  • Interchange for Knights is number 15 Kayla Romaniuk
    Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Pani Hopoate
  • Interchange for Knights is number 16 Tiana Davison
    Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Amelia Pasikala
  • Interchange for Knights is number 18 Jacinta Carter
    Interchange for Roosters is number 18 Teuila Fotu-Moala


  • Replacement for Knights is number 22 Felila Kia
    Replacement for Roosters is number 19 Lexi Kiriwi

Match Officials

  • Referee: Kasey Badger
  • Senior Review Official: Matt Noyen

Last updated:

Knights Coach Ronald Griffiths has named an unchanged line-up for Saturday's showdown, with Jasmin Strange set to go up against her father for the first time. 

Key Match Up: Jocelyn Kelleher vs Jesse Southwell

Two halfbacks who have played an integral role in their teams' success this season meet in what's set to be a fiercely-fought battle. 

Kelleher has gone from strength-to-strength in 2023, building on her form as the league's leading goal-kicker with 26 conversions to her tally. 

The proud Central Coast product has also scored one try and assisted four others to help the Tricolours maintain their ladder-leading position. 

Crowned the 2022 NRLW Rookie of the Year, Southwell has well and truly hit her straps this season as the Knights continue their hunt for back-to-back titles. 

The 18-year-old playmaker has bagged two tries and assisted a further five to carry Newcastle to victory on a couple of occasions in 2023. 

With the Minor Premiership and a home Semi Final on the line, look to Kelleher and Southwell to stamp their mark on this highly-anticipated contest. 

Final Verdict

Set to take on the Knights in Newcastle for the first time in competition history, the Roosters will be striving to continue their red-hot run of form to secure a top-two finish and home ground advantage for week one of the finals.

You can purchase your tickets for Saturday's NRLW double-header here! If you can't make it to Newcastle, be sure to attend Easts Bondi Junction - where you can watch both the Roosters NRLW and NRL matches live and loud on the big screens. 

With plenty of benefits including priority to purchase finals tickets, merchandise discounts as well as the best seating at Allianz Stadium, be sure to Call Yourself a Rooster in 2024 with Sydney Roosters 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.