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Roosters rocket into second spot after emphatic win

A hat-trick to fullback Shannon Rose helped propel the Central Coast Roosters into second spot on the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership table with a dominant 50-0 win over the St George Dragons at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence on Monday night.

Rose made the field her own with two first-half tries and a third early in the second half to help set up the Roosters’ biggest win of the season. 

She was well supported by Roosters stand-in skipper and halfback Jocelyn Kelleher (pictured below), who was a deserved Player of the Match after setting up several tries as well as scoring two of her own.

Combine that with her five conversions and she posted a personal tally of 18 points.

Her halves partner, Maroons No.6 Tarryn Aiken, got in on the action scoring the Roosters 10th try after she landed a double in last week’s 38-6 win over the Wests Tigers. 

The convincing win propelled the Roosters from fifth on the ladder to second, zooming ahead of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, North Sydney Bears and Mounties on a far superior for-and-against.

There is still plenty of congestion behind leaders the Illawarra Steelers (10 competition points) with the next four teams all on eight points with five rounds left.

Roosters coach John Strange rested several key players, including centre and captain Isabelle Kelly and hooker Shawden Burton.

“That gave some other girls an opportunity and I thought all 17 were brilliant,” Strange said. “The ones who stepped in did their job well and made themselves proud.”

He was particularly pleased his side didn’t drop intensity in the second 35-minutes despite being well in front on the scoreboard.

“It’s a mindset that we want to play with,” he said. “It’s always about us and not the opposition, so it didn’t matter what the score was at half-time we just wanted to keep playing our style of footy.”

For Dragons coach Steve Kelly, and a team still searching for their first win of 2023, he said it was all about “putting building blocks in place”.

“The scoreline doesn’t show the effort the girls put in,” Kelly said. “I’ve got half-a-dozen young girls who’ve never played a game at this level – we are very much a development squad.

“They try hard every week and we are working on the fundamental things each game. They are getting better but it’s about putting the building blocks in place as we’re a new club.”

The Dragons are one of three new teams in the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership this year. 

The game was probably over by half-time with the Roosters scoring four unanswered tries for a 20-0 lead.

Rose got her side off to the perfect start with two tries inside the first five minutes by terrorising the Dragons left-edge defence.

Hooker Joeli Morris and Jillaroos back-rower Olivia Kernick also crossed to put the Central Coast out to a comfortable lead after 35 minutes.

In the second half, Rose kept the momentum going for the Roosters with her third try as the home side camped themselves in Dragons territory.

The tries kept coming – six in all – with centre Kelsey Clark, winger Kiara Sullivan, Kelleher and Aiken following Rose’s initial four-pointer.

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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