The Dragon’s slight fighting chance sustained during the middle of the match, that felt something like an arm-wrestle, was quickly extinguished by their lacklustre discipline that spanned across 70 minutes. This aided the Roosters to achieve a tremendous 30-0 victory, as they dominated the last 25 minutes of the game.
Jamie Soward, the Coach for Dragons, expressed his concerns during the game’s post-mortem. He urged for a thorough review of the play-the-ball speed because the sport saw a total of 16 penalties handed out, nine of them from his own team.
Soward remarked, “16 penalties, and a ruck speed faster than the men’s – who are full-time professionals and have been playing it for 100 years. I just want the clarification of what we’re looking to try and get.” He further emphasised that, “the ruck is not the same as the men’s … the girls are going to wrestle different, they’re going to get into tackles different, they’re going to get out of tackles slower.”
The situation for Red V was by no means improved by Sophie Clancy and Ella Koster exiting for head injury evaluations that stemmed from heavy hits. Coupled with their inability to halt a focused Roosters squad, the Dragons were determined to strike back after their early stints of “worst game to date” as Roosters‘ captain Isabelle Kelly declared it.
Roosters were led competently by Kelly, who made two vital scores, the first amongst which was made just four minutes into the game. Credit for these plays primarily goes to Tarryn Aiken, the playmaker, who drove deep into Dragons‘ territory before passing the ball to Kelly, who was poised and ready.
Roosters were further facilitated by Angelina Teakaraanga-Katoa, who skilfully slowed their play-the-ball, which enabled Aiken to score and contribute to Roosters scoring 12 points within the initial 10 minutes.
Subsequent to these detrimental opening minutes, Dragons managed to regain their footing and withhold any alteration to the scoreboard until halftime.
The position could have been more critical for Dragons before half-time, had Brydie Parker’s try not been refused due to a forward pass, and had Amelia Pasikala not been withheld on the line as the half-time siren blared.
Dragons saw the second half of the tie prove most costly as Roosters put up another 18 points without any reciprocation from Dragons in the last 25 minutes of the game. Amongst these was Kelly’s second score after a 40-scoreless minute drought for Roosters. Kelly outplayed former teammate Raecene McGregor and fullback Teagan Berry to welcome a winning streak late into the game.
Jayme Fressard hit the final nail for Roosters, scoring a try in the game’s 64th minute, just three minutes succeeding Otesa Pule’s own triumphant try.
The night was one the Red V would much sooner forget. They faltered in defence, with a total of 66 missed tackles and were equally disappointing in offence with no tackle breaks in comparison to Roosters’ 11. This lead them to fall to their severest defeat and marking the first time they were rendered scoreless since 2018.