NRLW history on numerous fronts is the focus of this week’s Throwback Thursday (presented by Mazda).
It unfolded at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on September 8, 2018, when the Warriors locked horns with the Sydney Roosters in the competition’s ground-breaking first match.
Foundation captain Laura Mariu led a side boasting numerous players with Kiwi Ferns experience but the pundits typically rated the visitors no show against the star-stacked Roosters.
The Warriors were anything but intimidated by the occasion or the so-called experts’ views as they set about shocking the locals.
The contest was only eight minutes old when the they launched a short-side attack on their right close to the Roosters’ line. Hooker Krystal Rota skirted across field, drawing in two defenders, linking with centre Sarina Clark and she sent winger Hilda Peters in for the first try in NRLW history.
The intent on defence was a standout as well, highlighted soon after by prop Annetta Nu’uausala’s power-packed shot on Roosters loose forward Zahara Temara when the Warriors were defending their goal-line.
It provided the momentum for them to head downfield again where loose forward Louisa Gago came back against the grain onto a Mariu short ball to score for a 10-0 lead.
The Roosters pegged it back with an unconverted try for a 10-4 halftime score-line before a scoreless war of attrition in the second stanza.
The Warriors’ goal-line defence and scramble was outstanding as they thwarted the Roosters time after time. With only seconds left, the home side threatened through their left edge again, centre Isabelle Kelly looking for a way through but being flattened as Mariu rushed out of the line to slam Kelly into the turf.
That sealed the first win in NRLW history.
September 8, 2018
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Sydney Roosters 4 (Isabelle Kelly try).
Warriors 10 (Hilda Peters, Louisa Gago ties; Apii Nicholls conversion).
Halftime: 10-4 Warriors.
Referees: Jon Stone and Josh McGowan.
Warriors | Apii Nicholls; Langi Veainu, Shontelle Woodman, Sarina Clark, Hilda Peters; Laura Mariu (c), Georgia Hale; Annetta Nuuausala, Krystal Rota, Aieshaleigh Smalley; Onjeurlina Leiataua, Alice Vailea; Louisa Gago. Interchange: Tanika-Jazz Noble-Bell, Lorina Papali’i, Kahurangi Peters, Masuisuimatamaalii Tauasa-Pauaraisa.
Sydney Roosters | Botille Vette-Welsh; Karina Brown, Shontelle Stowers, Isabelle Kelly, Taleena Simon; Lavina O’Mealey, Maddie Studdon; Simaima Taufa-Kautai, Kylie Hilder, Elianna Walton; Tazmin Gray, Vanessa Foliaki; Zahara Temara. Interchange: Nita Maynard, Sarah Togatuki, Chloe Caldwell, Victoria Latu.