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The Roosters made the ideal start to their NRLW premiership defence with a 38-16 win over the Eels at CommBank Stadium on Saturday.

Doubles to Isabelle Kelly and Jayme Fressard and a standout performance from Sam Bremner in her comeback match ensured the Roosters kicked away after a tight first half.

The defending champions got off to a flying start when former Knight Fressard stepped inside Abbi Church and carried Gayle Broughton over the line with her to score in the eighth minute.

Star centre Kelly then struck twice in the space of three minutes, first on the left and then on the right, to take the Roosters out to a 12-0 lead.

The Eels steadied and hit back in the 19th minute through Seli Mailangi, who darted over from dummy half. Brooke Walker coverted for 12-6.

Four minutes later the Eels were level when Brooke Anderson's grubber kick rebounded to Simaima Taufa and the lock plunged over for the fourth try of her NRLW career.

Kelly bumping and stepping early

When centre Jess Sergis finished off great lead-up work by Bremner the Roosters had an 18-12 lead at the break.

The Eels hit back early in the second half when young halfback Losana Latu sent Vanessa Foliaki over from close range to close the gap to 18-16.

Hard-running back-rower Olivia Kernick made it four tries in just eight career games when she surged on to a Raecene McGregor pass and left Walker in her wake to take the Roosters out to 24-16 with Zahara Temara's conversion.

Foliaki scores in her return

Former Titan Shania Power added her name to the scoresheet with 20 minutes to play and the Roosters were well on the way to a first-up win.

Bremner put the ball on a platter for Fressard to complete her double in the 57th minute and followed up with another assist three minutes later for Leianne Tufuga to score the Roosters' eighth try.

The Eels looked to have grabbed their fourth of the day with three minutes to play when Broughton delivered a sublime flick pass to Rikeya Horne but replays showed the winger had gone into touch before grounding the ball.

Match Snapshot

  • Roosters skipper Isabelle Kelly has now scored in four successive NRLW matches, including the grand final win over the Dragons in April.
  • Sam Bremner was superb in her comeback match, running for 171 metres and breaking 11 tackles for the Roosters.
  • Isabelle Kelly showed her power with 170 run metres and nine tackle breaks for the Roosters.
  • Simaima Taufa worked herself to a standstill in defence for the Eels with 51 tackles.

Mailangi catches the Roosters napping

  • Teenager Losana Latu made an impressive NRLW debut for the Eels with a try assist and line break assist.
  • Roosters lock Keilee Joseph was a standout for the premiers with 148 metres from 16 runs.
  • Both sides came up with high completion rates - the Roosters 30 of 35 at 85 per cent and the Eels 24 of 27 at 88 per cent.
  • Jayme Fressard grabbed the first double of her career.
  • The tally of 54 points equals the most scored in a NRLW match (Titans beat Broncos 28-26 in round one, 2021).

Power increases Roosters lead

Play of the Game

Returning to the NRLW after two years out due to two pregnancies, Roosters fullback Sam Bremner looked like she'd never been away. The 30-year-old capped a sizzling first half when she beat three defenders and found Jess Sergis in support, the centre powering over for the Roosters' third try. With Bremner, Sergis and Isabelle Kelly in the backline the defending champs are sure to prove a handful for opposition defences. The try was Sergis' seventh in 17 NRLW matches.

Bremner puts Sergis in

What They Said

"Everyone wants to get off to a winning start so it's good to get the two points. I was happy with the way we played, there were obviously patches that I wasn't happy with and the team wasn't. It was a high completion-rated game, we were both in the 90 [percent] mark in the end." - Roosters coach John Strange

NRLW Roosters: Round 1

"We lost some of the one-on-one tackles out wide and looked a bit timid in defence. We didn't defend strong enough and our kicking game was poor. They were catching the ball over halfway at the start of their sets and that doesn't give us a chance to win under pressure. We were poor and have got to improve, that will be a big focus for us over the next week." - Eels coach Dean Widders

NRLW Eels: Round 1

What's Next

The Eels are at home in Round 2, hosting the Dragons at CommBank Stadium on Sunday. The Roosters travel to Suncorp Stadium to face three-time champions Brisbane. 

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour 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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