Women’s legend predicts Roosters to defeat Broncos for first NRLW title
Written by Tony Salerno on 18 July 2021
Women’s rugby league legend Tarsha Gale believes this is the year the Brisbane Broncos will be knocked off their NRLW perch.
The Broncos have won the first three NRLW premierships and lost only one game since the competition’s inception.
Gale believes the Sydney Roosters signing Jess Sergis will be the key to the Bondi club toppling Brisbane in the expanded competition.
“I think the Roosters will knock off the Broncos and Jess Sergis will have a lot to do with that decision,” Gale said.
The Roosters have also snared Broncos dummy half Chante Temara who has been pivotal in Brisbane’s premiership years.
It is these signings along with the crop of Roosters who play together in the state competition which has Gale excited about their chances.
“Eleven of them are currently playing for the Central Coast Roosters, now we know that the Broncos always have an extra advantage because they play together week to week at their club level.
“You put seven Origin players and 11 of 19 from the Central Coast Roosters who are undefeated and due to play the grand final…they have a pretty strong combination,” Gale said.
One of those seven Origin players is Isabelle Kelly who Gale highlights as being instrumental to delivering the club its first NRLW silverware.
“Given I chose the Roosters to take out the premiership, I am going to say Isabelle Kelly to be the player of the tournament.
“She has got no niggling injuries at the moment, and she has strength and power, so I am going to say Isabelle Kelly for player of the tournament.”
The Brisbane Broncos defeated the Sydney Roosters 20-10 in the 2020 decider so the tricolours will be hungry to change this year’s result.
Origin players will be spread across this year’s competition with the NRL introducing a points system to equalise the competition.
Clubs have a limit of 130 points to use across 24 players.
Players are broken into categories to determine their value with last year’s State of Origin participants being worth 9 points each.
The NRLW has expanded to six teams with the introduction of the Parramatta Eels, Gold Coast Titans and Newcastle Knights.
While the new points system is helpful for the clubs entering, it is tough for the Broncos who must shed their grand-final winning talent.
The current COVID situation means the New Zealand Warriors will not be a part of the 2021 edition.
2020 Warriors captain Georgia Hale was announced as the marquee signing for the Gold Coast Titans who are assembling a strong roster.
Gale also praised the Parramatta Eels for their first five signings which include Origin players Tiana Penitani, Botille Vette-Welsh and Simaima Taufa.
The former Jillaroo believes their roster and experience of their coach in the women’s game means they could go deep in the competition.
“My smoky is the Dean-Widders coached Parramatta Eels.
“He knows his players, especially his coaching history with the women’s game in Easts with the Roosters in the first year.
“He is really hands-on at the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership level, and he can really pick some talent and he has managed to sign up quite some named players,” Gale said.
The NRLW draw is yet to be released but the competition is scheduled to begin the same week as Round 23 in the National Rugby League.