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Roosters claim big NRLW win to open stadium in style

The Roosters have continued their winning ways to start the NRLW season with an impressive 34-6 victory over the Dragons in the grand final rematch at Allianz Stadium.

Both sides were locked at 6-6 in the second half before the home side ran away with victory through the class of Raecene McGregor and Sam Bremner to set up the Roosters' biggest win over the Dragons in the NRLW.

The match itself didn't reach any great heights like the 2021 decider in Redcliffe but has all but ensured the Roosters will compete in the finals and defend their crown in three weeks time.

The visitors started strong with Dragons rookie Monalisa Soliola having the honour of scoring the first official try at the refurbished venue, which was sold out for the double header occasion.

However, the Dragons' attack at times struggled with the Roosters' up-and-in defence with star fullback Emma Tonegato constantly shut down every time she had the ball.

Likewise the Roosters' attack struggled early before Jocelyn Kelleher got past Soliola and Elsie Albert close to the line to start the second half onslaught.

McGregor was instrumental in the win, setting up four tries as the Roosters romped to a resounding result with Kelleher grabbing a double on the siren.

Class of Bremner finishes the Dragons

Match snapshot

  • Monalisa Soliola crossed for the first try of the match and first try at Allianz Stadium since the refurbishment. 
  • Dragons forward Holli Wheeler did not return in the second half due to a collarbone injury that will require scans.
  • The Roosters now lead the head-to-head battle between the two clubs 4-2. 
  • Roosters fullback Sam Bremner got one over Emma Tonegato in the battle of the No.1's with the veteran producing a complete game at the back.
  • The Dragons had 55% of possession at one stage in the loss, highlighting the ball they had, but completed at less than 70%.
  • Roosters forward Otesa Pule scored the first try of her NRLW career when she crossed in the 64th minute.
  • Jocelyn Kelleher grabbed the first double of her NRLW career late in the match.
  • Chantel Tugaga (neck/shoulder) and Tegan Dymock (shoulder) also picked up injury concerns for the Dragons.
  • Roosters prop Sarah Togatuki limped from the field with a knee concern.

Play of the game

The boot of Raecene McGregor has been pristine to start the season with her first half cross-field kick providing Leianne Tufuga with the chance to collect and get the ball over the line for a stunning effort.

Tufuga collects a McGregor kick

What they said

"I spoke to the girls at captain's run yesterday saying that they'll probably remember the afternoon for the rest of your life so make sure you're sitting in the sheds after it remembering for all the right reasons. We put ourselves under pressure in the first half and I thought the girls did well to only come in at 6-6 because we gave the Dragons so much ball. We spoke about how the points would come in the second half and they certainly did." - Roosters coach John Strange.

NRLW Roosters: Round 3

"I was pretty happy with the first half but I think the game got away from us. There's some stuff there that we probably compromised our values tonight. It's not all doom and gloom, we snuck away with it last week and had a short turnaround so there's some good lessons for us. We stopped thinking [in attack] tonight and part of that is my messaging so I've got to get back to the drawing board and look at the tape." - Dragons coach Jamie Soward.

NRLW Dragons: Round 3

What's next

The Roosters will take on the Knights in round four with the venue and times for the clash to be determined following the NRL matches this weekend.

Likewise the Dragons will clash against the Broncos at a venue to be confirmed on Sunday night.

Monalisa Soliola makes history at Allianz Stadium!

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons 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 Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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