Roosters through to the NRLW Semi Finals, Titans season over

The Gold Coast Titans and Sydney Roosters went head to head at Central Coast Stadium this afternoon, with the Roosters coming away with a 38-12 victory. Pristine conditions in Gosford made for a great game of rugby league.

Credit to Amy Halpin/AH Imagery

A low-flying kick off from Roosters Zahara Temara started a fantastic game between the Roosters and Titans at Central Coast Stadium this afternoon in front of a crowd of 4,000. Her start forced a Titans error, giving the Roosters possession from the 20m line.

We saw a few more errors from both teams, with Roosters player Destiny Brill and Titans player Shannon Mato making some sloppy mistakes.

The Titans nearly scored off a dodgy Roosters kick, as a wicked bounce landed in the hands of Steph Hancock. Passing it off to Kimiora Breayley-Nati, the Titans pushed forward. Having made it over the try line, the on-field call was no try due to Breayley-Nati being offside. After going to the bunker, the on-field call was approved.

Almost seeing the first points of the game, the game got fiery. With a dangerous tackle from Titans fullback Apii Nicholls, the Roosters were given an upper hand.

A brilliant line break from Destiny Brill saw the Roosters score their first try of the afternoon, and Zahara Temara cleared the conversion, bringing the Roosters to the lead, 6-0, just 10 minutes in.

Titans player Georgie Hale was penalised and put on report shortly after, in the 11th minute, with a dangerously high tackle.

Just a minute later, Jada Taylor had a fantastic line break, scoring a second try for the Roosters. Again, the conversion was cleared by fan favourite Zahara Temara, and the Roosters secured a strong lead, 12-0. 

We saw a Roosters error, as Sarah Togatuki made some funny moves in their defensive try zone.

The Titans retaliated with a fantastic try in the 15th minute by Madison Bartlett. Halfback Lauren Brown missed the conversion, but the Titans now had numbers to their name.

Another low kick from the Roosters gave them the upper hand yet again, with the Roosters securing an attack 25m out from the try line.

The Roosters clearly benefitted from this, scoring a try within a minute. Shaniah Power had a fantastic attack, bringing the Roosters further ahead. Zahara Temara cleared the conversion yet again, proving her consistency. The Roosters lead 18-4.

Shaniah Power scoring a try for the Roosters

Credit to Amy Halpin/AH Imagery

Titans winger Madison Bartlett was penalised in the 21st minute for crowding, giving the Roosters another strong attacking chance.

A fantastic offload by Shaniah Power to Isabelle Kelly found the ball down the wing to Jayme Fressard, who scored an excellent try. In her first game back after a few weeks off due to an injury, Fressard showed some great motivation. Zahara Temara missed the conversion, but the Roosters dominated with an 18-point lead.

Some back-and-forth play showed the strengths of both teams for the rest of the first half until an error from the Titans allowed for a Roosters intercept. However, just 30 seconds later, the roles reversed, and the ball was back in the Titans possession.

We saw some more cheap errors from both teams, and Titans halfback Kimiora Breayley-Nati was penalised for an early tackle. A minute later, teammate Shannon Mato was also penalised for a ball strip.

The first half finished with a fantastic Roosters try from Jessica Sergis, off a scrum feed offload. Zahara Temara cleared the conversion, and the Roosters sit nicely in front at 28-4.

Jessica Sergis scoring a try for the Roosters

Credit to Amy Halpin/AH Imagery

A sloppy second-half start from both teams saw several errors, and a penalty against Roosters prop Angelina Teakaraanga Katoa.

A fantastic Titans intercept by Apii Nicholls saw her get a good run, but the Rooster's defence was too strong. Shortly after, a Roosters knock-on gave possession back to the Titans.

The second half saw a lot of errors and penalties, with a Roosters scrum feed ending with a knock-on, giving Titans possession yet again. Shortly after, Destiny Brill, Roosters favourite, was penalised for a slow peel.

Titans' passes down the line ended with a great ball to winger Madison Bartlett, who scored the Titan's second try of the afternoon. Lauren Brown missed the conversion. The score sits at 28-8.

Roosters Captain Isabelle Kelly was penalised for a professional foul and sinned for 10 minutes. The Roosters were now down a player on the field but still exhibited dominance, seen just a few minutes later with a brilliant try-saving effort from Destiny Brill and Sarah Togatuki, which prevented the Titans from attempting to even the score.

Titans player Zara Canfield was taken off for a suspected injury and replaced by Tiana Raftstrand-Smith.

Shortly after, a rough Roosters tackle against Titans winger Karina Brown forced Brown off the field for an HIA. Sarah Togatuki was put on report for the dangerous tackle. Just a minute later, teammate Zahara Temara was also penalised. 

With just over 10 minutes left, the Titans scored, with a nice set-up by the team ending in the hands of winger Jetaya Faifua. Lauren Brown, yet again, missed the conversion, seeming off of her game today. The Titans lessen the gap in the score, but still, fall behind by 16 points.

Just 2 minutes later, the Roosters retaliated with Destiny Brill scoring a fantastic try by pushing her way through the Titans' defence. Zahara Temara had an easy conversion, bringing the score up to 34-12.

Yet another Roosters try was seen with 5 minutes left, as a great offload out to Jayme Fressard ended over the try line. A tougher conversion by Zahara Temara was missed, but the Roosters demonstrated their strength, finishing the game 38-12.  

The Roosters proved their dominance in the NRLW this afternoon, demonstrating exactly why they are the top of the ladder. They have claimed the NRLW Minor Premiership, with not a single loss all season.

Roosters Coach John Strange says he is proud of his girls and how they ended up this season.

“[I am] really happy with the performance of the girls. Obviously there was some periods in the second half which weren’t great…but the fact that they wrestled it back towards the end of the game and finished on top was good.”

Speaking on the team’s debutants, Captain Isabelle Kelly was incredibly proud, particular of rookie Jada Taylor, who scored in today’s game.

“I thought Jada was really good for us today, she’s only young, but she showed her confidence out there…She was outstanding.”

Karyn Murphy, Titans Coach, was disappointed in the outcome of today’s match.

“It’s really disappointing, to state the obvious. We came here really confident after a good couple of weeks…We were confident that those errors we’ve had in our games for most of the season would be sorted…It’s a disappointing way to finish our season.”

Titans Captain Brittany Breayley-Nati says despite the discouraging results, the culture and motivation at the Gold Coast Titans remain strong.

“We have a really good culture, Murphy did really well on building the team on good people…Potentially there was nerves out there today, and it was the penalty count and errors that let us down at the end of the day.”

Roosters players celebrating their win

The Roosters will face the Parramatta Eels in the Semi Finals next week, for a place in the NRLW Grand Final of 2022.