The payoff for bringing in young talented players such as Lindsay Tui and new recruit Noaria Kapua was evident in the Eels impressive victory over the Cowboys. Not only have the Eels unearthed emerging stars who have been instrumental in the team’s improving performances, they have also provided a glimpse into an exciting future for the side.
As for the Sydney Roosters, their last round 48 to 10 defeat of the West Tigers was an eighty minute domination. They are currently on a four game-winning streak since losing a tight game against the Canberra Raiders in round two.
The Eels won’t be able to afford a slow start against what is arguably the best team in the competition.
Date: Sunday, September 4, 2023
Kick-off: 1:50 PM AEST
Venue: Industree Group Stadium, Gosford
Referee: Darian Furner
Senior Review Official: Todd Smith
Broadcast: Channel Nine and Foxtel
Live Stream: Kayo & Nine Now
1. Corban Baxter 2. Brydie Parker 3. Jessica Sergis 4. Isabelle Kelly 5. Mia Wood 6. Tarryn Aiken 7. Jocelyn Kelleher 8. Millie Boyle 9. Keeley Davis 10. Mya Hill-Moana 11. Otesa Pule 12. Olivia Kernick 13. Keilee Joseph 14. Joeli Morris 15. Grace Hamilton 16. Pani Hopoate 17. Amelia Pasikala
19. Teuila Fotu-Moala 21. Lily Rogan
The Roosters have a superbly balanced team of star players and lower profile individuals who are complete professionals in fulfilling their roles.
Shawden Burton has a ruptured ACL and is replaced by Joeli Morris. Jayme Fressard will return in round 8 after suffering a concussion last weekend.
1. Abbi Church 2. Zali Fay 3. Lindsay Tui 4. Cassey Tohi-Hiku 5. Kimberley Hunt 6. Pihuka Berryman-Duff 7. Rachael Pearson 8. Talesha O’Neill 9. Rueben Cherrington 10. Tyla Amiatu 11. Amelia Mafi 12. Mahalia Murphy 13. Jade Fonua 15. Noaria Kapua 16. Rubby-Jean Kennard-Ellis 17. Madeline Jones 20. Taneka Todhunter
18. Nakia Davis-Welsh 19. Kyra Simon
Kennedy Cherrington is close to returning from suspension. For now the Eels pack have to maintain the rage without both her and Elsie Albert.
Lindsay Tui was impressive in her debut and retains her spot in the centres. Kimberley Hunt is growing in confidence playing alongside Cassey Tohi-Hiku on the right.
Taneka Todhunter moves to the bench after Capri Paekau was ruled out.
Isabelle Kelly and Jessica Sergis provide the Roosters with star power out in the centres. Lindsay Tui and Cassey Tohi-Hiku will need to be at their defensible best to neutralise the offensive firepower of their representative opponents. Look no further than what transpired against the Tigers when assessing the task ahead of them.
Against the Cowboys, Tui held her nerve when defending in the red zone whilst Tohi-Hiku showed her defensive IQ in finding the ‘out-the-back’ players with big shots that shook their confidence.
The battle between Jocelyn Kelleher and Rachael Pearson will be key to the success of their respective team’s attack. Since returning from injury, Pearson has provided much needed direction for the Eels attack. Her game management has completely reshaped Parra’s offence.
The dummy half duel between Keeley Davis and Rueben Cherrington will be a highlight. Cherrington had a strong running game last weekend, averaging 14 metres a carry, and mixing the pace around the ruck to keep the defence guessing.
Davis is a confident distributor of the football, and when your team can post 30-40 points consistently, keeping that attacking rhythm ticking is exactly what her coach is looking for.
Neutralising Millie Boyle
Superstar prop Millie Boyle is the engine of any team she plays in. Her physicality in yardage, in both attack and defence, goes a long way towards winning the middle.
The Eels forward pack rotation has lifted in recent weeks, standing up to the Raiders and Cowboys in successive rounds
Parra will again need to be at their best against Boyle and get the numbers right both on and around her. When teams get their slide defence wrong, the problem normally starts well in-field. Eels players must trust the person beside them to do their job.
This game will be a measure of some of the good habits that Parra has been building. Just how entrenched are those habits?
I’m looking for Parra to find the grit and grind, and battle it out set for set. Turning over cheap possession and letting the Roosters get on the front foot is the fast way to becoming fatigued – something that caused plenty of problems for our Eels in the early rounds.
Prediction: Roosters 30 defeat Eels 18
Player of the Game: Millie Boyle