Whether it was overconfidence from the Roosters, whether the Parramatta Eels completely rolled them or a combination of both, it is the Eels who advance to the 2022 NRLW grand final with an upset win over the Roosters.
The Roosters, previously unbeaten in five games this season and breaking records in the process, were up against an Eels side who scraped into the eight on the back of a last round win.
With star centre Tiana Penitani ruled out pre-game with a quad injury she suffered last week, Abbi Church was the one to come in and fill Penitani’s shoes. Fill them she did.
As both sides felt each other out in the first ten minutes, the opening try would come soon after and it went the way of the Eels.
Ash Quinlan feigned to pass left but instead cut inside several defenders and was able to get over and score.
The Roosters would hit back soon after, when a lucky bounce evaded Eels defender and fell to Roosters forward Shaniah Power to score their first try.
Not to be outdone or out-enthused, the Eels extended their lead when Church was able to carry several defenders over the line to score.
Tayla Preston, who was instrumental in steering the ship for the Eels side, then scored a try of her own after she grubbered ahead and won the race to the ball.
The bunker reviewed her effort and gave it the all-clear.
The icing on the cake came just two minutes later when Rikeya Horne split the Roosters defence and scored her first try in blue and gold colours.
Despite a late consolation try for forward Sarah Togatuki, the Roosters were completely dominated by an Eels side who were hungrier for the win.
Roosters coach John Strange lamented his side’s performance but was quick to praise the Eels for their efforts.
“I think anything that could have gone wrong for us did out there. We were very poor,” Strange said.
“Parramatta played very well, they completed highly, it was a fairly basic game plan for them and it worked.”
Eels coach Dean Widders knew that his side was willing to fight for each other and that is what got them the win.
I know how hard they all work and I know how much they love their footy,” Widders said.
“I think we were willing to fight for each other and we were willing to take on anyone and in that first game we got taught a real lesson by them.”
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