Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Scores updated regularly. REFRESH NOW
2019 NRLW Round 1: St George Illawarra Dragons vs Brisbane Broncos
|Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta|
|Match time: Fulltime|
The Brisbane Broncos have gotten their NRLW season off to a strong start, picking up a ten-point victory over the St George Illawarra Dragons.
After a tense first half where scores were tied at four-all at the halftime break, the Broncos went to another level in the second half, with their forward pack leading the way.
Building off the platform set by Amber Paris-Hall and Millie Boyle, it was Mariah Storch and Steph Hancock who was super impressive off the bench, allowing Ali Brigginshaw to put her influence all over the game.
The Broncos were also strong in the outside backs, where they had the Dragons number, and while there were some nice individual plays from the Red V, with Jessica Sergis and Kezie Apps their best, they have a lot to improve on, especially in the forwards, before they travel to Auckland for the first ever standalone NRLW game against the Warriors next week.
The story of the second half could be summed up in their six errors and multiple penalties given away by the Dragons, and they just couldn’t hold sway with Brisbane, despite some late opportunities to do so.
The Brisbane Broncos might be the defending NRLW premiers, but they will get a huge test straight away in a potential grand final preview when they take on Season 2 favourites the St George Illawarra Dragons. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 2:05pm (AEST).
The Dragons come into the new season with a host of new signings, but the biggest among them is Australian half Maddie Studdon, who played for the Roosters last season.
One of the best players in the women’s game, Studdon will have a crucial role to play on the back of a Dragons forward pack who have undergone a major rebuild.
Losing Sammy Bremner through pregnancy, the Dragons have also released half Honey Hireme to the Warriors, while Brittany Breayley leads a host of Broncos players who made the switch from Brisbane to Wollongong.
On paper, with Studdon and Breayley leading the way, the Dragons spine has a lot of points in them, and the Broncos defence will need to be good in this first-round clash.
While the Broncos have undergone a lot of changes throughout the off-season, the constant is that Chelsea Baker and Ali Brigginshaw will lead the side at fullback and in the halves respectively.
Other recognisable names from last year’s campaign include the dangerous centre and wing combination of Amber Pilley and Meg Ward, while Annette Brander and Tazmin Gray line up in the second row.
The forward packs appear to be reasonably evenly matched, maybe with a slight advantage to the Dragons, so this is going to come down to a battle of the creative players and who can capitalise on their opportunities more efficiently.
It’s always hard to tip a first-round game when you have new combinations and a whole lot of unknown, but the Dragons have a really strong side on paper and should show why they are competition favourites here.
Dragons by 8.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this NRLW opening-round match from 2:05pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 2:05pm (AEST)
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta
TV: Live, Fox League 502, Channel 9
Online: Live, Kayo Sports, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, 9Now, NRL Digital Pass
Betting: Dragons $1.75, Broncos $2.05
Referees: Adam Cassidy, Martin Jones
St George Illawarra Dragons
1. Botille Vette-Welsh 2. Stephanie Mooka 3. Jessica Sergis 4. Tiana Penitani 5. Shakiah Tungai 6. Kimiora Nati 7. Maddie Studdon 8. Teuila Fotu-Moala 9. Brittany Breayley 10. Maitua Feterika 11. Kezie Apps 12. Shaylee Bent 13. Holli Wheeler
Interchange: 14. Keeley Davis 15. Takilele Katoa 16. Maddison Weatherall 17. Ngatokotoru Arakua 18. Najvada George 19. Rikeya Horne
1. Chelsea Baker 2. Tamika Upton 3. Amy Turner 4. Amber Pilley 5. Meg Ward 6. Raecene McGregor 7. Ali Brigginshaw 8. Millie Boyle 9. Lavinia Gould 10. Amber Paris-hall 11. Annette Brander 12. Tazmin Gray 13. Rona Peters
Interchange: 14. Tarryn Aiken 15. Steph Hancock 16. Mariah Storch 17. Jessika Elliston 18. Rosemary Vaimili Toalepai 19. Heather Ballinger