Australia

Roosters vow to make history in NRLW grand final

The Sydney Roosters were meant to achieve a three-peat in 2020. Now, the club’s NRLW side is about to stop one.

The Chooks will on Sunday fight to become the first team in history to beat the Brisbane Broncos at an NRLW Grand Final and skipper Corban McGregor has total faith in her teammates.

“I’m glad that we can carry on the Roosters dynasty somehow, I would love to stop the Broncos’ three peat,” McGregor said.

“But more importantly, we want to lift up the trophy. We want to be NRLW champions.”

After a winless 2019 season, the Roosters have now established themselves among NRLW’s toughest competitors.

“This year, it’s about having belief in ourselves and not worrying about the other teams and outside world,” McGregor said.

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“There’s been a lot of people not really backing us, so we’ve had to be positive ourselves and backing ourselves. That’s going to be the key to making sure we can execute our plans.”

The skipper also attributed the Roosters’ surge to players stepping up — from the arrival of Rugby Sevens star Charlotte Caslick and NRLW rookie of the year Kennedy Cherrington, to the return of winger Taleena Simon. McGregor herself has embraced an unexpected move to five-eighth in 2020.

“Last year I was so determined to be a fullback, I transitioned from centre to fullback, this year I went into the year with an open mindset,” McGregor said. “Then I found myself playing No.6 in the Harvey Norman premiership and it’s flown on in the NRLW … but I’m always up for a challenge.”

Australian Wallaroos captain Grace Hamilton is also making a serious impact for the Roosters this year.

Hamilton impressed on debut — dragging the Warriors’ Madison Bartlett back 20 metres — and will look to terrorise the reigning ­champions today at ANZ Stadium.

“It looked like it should have been a gridiron highlight, when she picked her up, the poor girl,” ­McGregor said.

“She’s been great too, another (rugby union) convert, she’s picked up the game well, she’s just a workhorse she’ll take the tough carries and hits, she’ll leave it all out there.”

Hamilton — who also works as a sports administrator at Scots College — said that she had loved every minute at the Roosters.

“I have been asked for the last couple of years (to play NRLW at the Roosters), but I’ve always had Test matches, playing for Australia in union, so I’ve always said no. But it’s always been there,” Hamilton said.

“A lot of kids (at The Scots College) are in the Roosters pathway program, so they’re stoked now.

“I’m not switching codes, it’s an opportunity that I got and I’m so grateful for that, and it will help me better myself heading into the Rugby World Cup next year.”

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