Broncos vs Warriors
Starting: Raecene McGregor, Lavinia Gould, Amber Hall, Rona Peters.
Bench/Extended Bench: Nada.
Starting: All but Timaima Ravisa.
Bench/Extended Bench: All but Roela Radiniyavuni.
Last week Charntay Poko had 33 touches to Timaima Ravisa's 9 touches of the footy, with Poko doing all the kicking for the whole Warriors team. That was alright in a win, however in the Warriors troubling loss to Dragons last weekend, we again saw a hefty disparity in their work with Poko taking 26 touches and Ravisa just 1 touch, while Poko again did all the kicking for the halves. To add to this awkward dynamic, Ravisa had 77.3 percent tackle efficiency in round one and backed it up with 76.2 percent in round two and this is nearing a point where Ravisa is doing so little with the footy that she is almost having solely a negative impact on the game.
Something has to change for the Warriors halves as they are simply not going to win this weekend vs the unbeaten Broncos if they roll out the status-quo. Ravisa is obviously new to NRLW footy and there is a growth process she must go through, meaning that the Warriors must figure out if they want to win footy games right now or aren't to fussed about winning and want to develop players.
Given all the weird antics from Warriors men's coach Stephen Kearney, I'm also weary of how Onjeurlina Leiataua is being used for the wahine. Leitaua has twice been named on the extended bench this season, twice coming into the top-17 late and twice being the Warriors best forward; only Warriors forward to average 10m/run vs Roosters with 7 tackle busts, then 6 tackle busts and NRLW Team of the Week selection in round two.
Leaiatua is again named on an extended bench this week, as though she is a fringe member of the squad. The fact is that Leaiataua deserves to be starting, or consistently on the bench without the gimmicks.
The Broncos halves, featuring Kiwi Ferns half Raecene McGregor and Jillaroos veteran Ali Brigginshaw on the other hand had a delightful split of the action in their 20-0 win over Roosters. McGregor had 8 runs, 38 touches and 5 kicks, while Brigginshaw had 9 runs, 42 touches and 9 kicks which is exactly what an NRLW team requires. Amber Hall is also offering great service to the Broncos as she had 15 runs for 131m @ 8.73m/run, with 2 tackle busts and 100 percent tackling.
Dragons vs Roosters
Starting: Botille Vette-Welsh, Ngatokotoru Arakua, Maitua Feterika.
Bench/Extended Bench: /Lexi Kiriwi.
Starting: Kiana Takairangi, Nita Maynard.
Bench/Extended Bench: Nada.
Tension is buiding with regards to the representative future of Botille Vette-Welsh, who has been a dominant force at fullback for the Dragons. Vette-Welsh was named in the Team of the Week again and the Northlander could make in three weeks in a row given that the Roosters are the only team without a win. Remember that Vette-Welsh was named in a Jillaroos Merit Team and could move into the Jillaroos team-team, or she could pop up for the Kiwi Ferns.
Ngatokotoru Arakua started in place of Teuila Fotu-Moala and although she only played 13mins, Arakua was super efficient with 5 runs for 50m. Maitua Feterika also had another strong game with the footy, scoring a try with 20 runs for 191m @ 9.55m/run and 2 tackle busts which saw her named in the Team of the Week.
Last week though, I highlighted Feterika's defence in the middle for the Dragons as she missed 7 tackles for 72 percent tackling efficiency and despite the Dragons storming home to a nice win over the Warriors, Feterika missed 5 tackles with 75 percent tackling. Feterika is offering so much value with the footy that the defensive stuff can be absorbed and I doubt Feterika will be exposed to any extent against the Roosters.
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Peace and love 27.