2022-04-10 05:41:00

The Roosters have added to their reputation as comeback specialists by producing a come-from-behind victory to beat the Dragons 16-4 in a thrilling NRLW Grand Final.

“The Roosters are the premiers for the first time in NRLW history,” Brenton Speed said.

“What a win in Redcliffe. Second half comebacks in both finals.

“They knock off the all-conquering Broncos one week and then the star-studded Dragons the next. The Sydney Roosters are your champions.”

MATCH CENTRE: Dragons vs Roosters, teams, scores, videos, updates

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Sergis and Wheeler preview NRLW GF | 07:12

67TH MINUTE

The Roosters sealed the victory with a first ever try to hooker Olivia Higgins to push the lead out to 16-4.

58TH MINUTE

Isabelle Kelly charged up the middle of the field to score to give the Roosters their first lead of the game.

A week after their comeback from 16-0 over the Broncos, the Roosters are on track to add to their title as the Comeback Queens.

46TH MINUTE

Roosters second-rower Yasmin Meakes crashed over from close range to lock up the scores at 4-4 to set tup an epic finish.

HALFTIME

The Dragons held out the Roosters to hold a slender 4-0 lead at the break.

“A sensational start to the grand final with the Dragons still leading through that early try to Madison Bartlett,” Speed said.

“At the break it is 4-0.”

34TH MINUTE

Dragons hooker Keeley Davis looked to have scored a freak try from a deflection from a kick, but the bunker ruled a knock-on in the lead-up to deny the four-pointer.

20TH MINUTE

Roosters winger Brydie Parker went down with a knee injury in a bitter blow to her side.

To add insult to injury Parker copped a shoulder to the head as she dropped in the tackle resulting in Dragons five-eighth Taliah Fuimaono being sent to the sin bin.

“Fuimaono is on report and has been sent to the sin bin,” Speed said.

“The Dragons are down to 12.”

Fox League reporter Darcie McDonald confirmed that Parker was ruled out of the match.

“Brydie Parker will not be returning today unfortunately, which is a huge blow for the Roosters,” McDonald said.

“The Doctors have not ruled on the actual severity of the injury, but they have ruled her out.”

3RD MINUTE

The Dragons opened the scoring with winger Madison Bartlett crossing in the corner to extend her lead as the record try-scorer in NRLW history to give the Dragons an early 4-0 lead.

“Emma Tonegato big chance here catch and pass and the record try-scorer in NRLW history Madison Bartlett has her eighth four-pointer,” Brenton Speed said.

“The Dragons inside 90 seconds open the scoring on Grand Final day.”

Here are the key takeaways from the match.

COMEBACK QUEENS DO IT AGAIN IN THRILLING DECIDER

The Sydney Roosters solidified their standing as the ‘Comeback Queens’ of the 2022 NRLW season by overcoming a 4-0 halftime deficit to storm home 16-4 in the second half.

Three second half tries to Yasmin Meakes, Isabelle Kelly and Olivia Higgins ensured the Roosters capped their season with a maiden NRLW title.

“The Roosters are the premiers for the first time in NRLW history,” Brenton Speed said.

“What a win in Redcliffe. Second half comebacks in both finals.

“They knock off the all-conquering Broncos one week and then the star-studded Dragons the next. The Sydney Roosters are your champions.”

The Roosters’ effort was made all the more remarkable given how brave the Dragons, who are the best defensive team in the competition were, particularly in the first half.

The Dragons repelled wave after wave of attack from the Roosters in the first half.

“The defensive resolve we saw from the Dragons,” Corey Parker said.

“They are the best defensive team in the competition.

“They repelled them three times on their own line in the first half.

“The Roosters did a terrific job trying to get there, but the Dragons’ desperation on the biggest day of the season has seen them stand tall.”

However, it was not enough in the end with the class of the Roosters proving too much in the second half in an epic decider.

KELLY SETS NEW BENCHMARK AND SCORES GAME-WINNER

Roosters centre Isabelle Kelly scored the match winning try and became the first player to pass 2000 run metres in a stunning display against the Dragons.

With a run in the first half, Kelly passed the magic 2000 metre mark, which has never been done in the history of the NRLW.

“Isabelle Kelly becomes the first player to pass 2000 run metres,” Speed said.

However, the best was yet to come from Kelly as she charged down the middle to score the try to break a 4-4 deadlock in the 58th minute.

Kelly said prematch that she was over individual awards and wanted to taste the ultimate success by winning her first NRLW Grand Final with her club teammates.

After a glittering career winning Dally M awards, golden boots and State of Origin series, Kelly can now add NRLW premiership winner to her resume.

Kelly finished with 158 metres, three tackle busts, an offload, a linebreak and eight tackles without a miss in a superb display.

DALLY M WINNER VALIANT IN DEFEAT

She may have gone down in a beaten side, but Dally M Medal winner Emma Tonegato did everything in her power to will her side to victory.

Fresh off winning the game’s highest individual honour, Tonegatio has 182 metres, a linebreak, a linebreak assist, a try assist and five tackles in a superb showing at the back for the Dragons.

Tonegato set the tone for the Dragons setting up the first try of the game for Madison Bartlett.

“Tonegato played her part in the only try of the first half,” Speed said.

Corey Parker and Tiana Penitani commended Tonegato for her involvement in a beaten side.

“Just under 90 seconds and this one had Jamie Soward’s fingerprints all over it,” Parker said.

“The Dally M winner in Emma Tonegato just getting out of the scrumbase and burning them with her speed on the outside to create a number.”

“Emma Tonegato was linking up with Keely Davis around the ruck,” Penitani said.

“She was busy all day.”

MATCH PREVIEW

The Roosters and Dragons are set to go into battle in a historic NRLW grand final at Moreton Daily Stadium in Redcliffe.

For the first time in the competition’s history we will see a different winner than the dominant Brisbane Broncos, after the tricolours huge upset victory last week.

Jamie Soward’s side have been in fine form this season, with fullback Emma Tonegato leading the charge.

The Dragons No.1 was awarded the Dally M Medal on Thursday night, sharing the spoils with Broncos prop Millie Boyle.

Winger Madison Bartlett will also be hoping to continue her try-scoring form, leading the competition’s four-point leaderboard.

Meanwhile, Roosters centres Isabelle Kelly and former Dally M winner Jessica Sergis will be hoping to stand up on the big stage.

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Kelly has recorded the competition’s most linebreaks with eight, while Sergis is an ever-present force on an edge.

The Roosters are yet to record a grand final victory in two attempts, while the Dragons have finished runners-up once in the competition’s three-year history.

Dragons team: 1. Emma Tonegato 2. Teagan Berry 3. Jaime Chapman 4. Page McGregor 5. Madison Bartlett 6. Taliah Fuimaono 7. Rachael Pearson 8. Elsie Albert 9. Keeley Davis 10. Kezie Apps 11. Talei Holmes 12. Shaylee Bent 13. Holli Wheeler 14. Quincy Dodd 15. Kody House 18. Renee Targett 19. Keele Browne 21. Aliti Namoce

Roosters team: 1. Corban Baxter 2. Leianne Tufuga 3. Jessica Sergis 4. Isabelle Kelly 5. Brydie Parker 6. Zahara Temara 7. Raecene Mcgregor 8. Sarah Togatuki 9. Olivia Higgins 10. Mya Hill-Moana 11. Yasmin Meakes 12. Olivia Kernick 13. Hannah Southwell 14. Jocelyn Kelleher 15. Keilee Joseph 16. Tayla Predebon 17. Simone Karpani 18. Joeli Morris

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