TWL NRLW WRAP: WARRIORS STUN ROOSTERS IN BRUISING OPENER

The Warriors women’s team have created history and taken a massive step towards the inaugural NRLW grand final, upsetting the premiership favourite Sydney Roosters 10-4 in a punishing contest at ANZ Stadium.

Outstanding defence across the park, a commanding performance in the middle of the park from props Annetta-Claudia Nuuausala and Aieshaleigh Smalley, and a wonderfully controlled showing from veteran five-eighth Laura Mariu were the key factors in a victory that sounding a warning to other clubs in the ground-breaking competition.

Remarkably, they pulled off the win despite only arriving in Sydney five hours before kick-off, diverted to Brisbane on Friday due to an electrical storm.

The Warriors struck early through Hilda Mariu, who dived over in the corner in the ninth minute. The lead was 10-0 after 18 minutes when Laura Mariu’s deft pass sent lock Luisa Gago over.

The Roosters started gaining momentum towards the back-end of the first half and landed a crucial blow a couple of minutes out from the break through NSW and Australian centre Isabelle Kelly, whose arcing run produced a superb solo try.

The second half was marked by bruising defence from both sides and nothing was added to scoreboard – but it was no less absorbing the opening 40.

Skipper Laura Mariu put an exclamation mark on a magnificent result by ironing out Kelly and forcing an error as the Roosters searched for an equaliser in the final minute.

Fullback Apii Nicholls and hooker Krystal Rota also had memorable games for the triumphant Warriors.

NRLW Round 1 – Warriors 10 (Hilda Mariu, Luisa Gago tries; Apii Nicholls goal) d Roosters 4 (Isabelle Kelly try) at ANZ Stadium.

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