Muswellbrook’s young flyer Brydie Parker is set to see her NRL Women’s Premiership career take off, after being named on the wing in the Sydney Roosters’ do-or-die last round clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons.
The 18-year-old bolter was picked up by the pre-season favourites at a Gold Coast talent ID camp back in May, and has patiently prepared for her first crack at the new top-grade competition that has already drawn eyes from around the country.
She just may not have imagined being thrown into the mixing pot with so much on the line.
The Tricolours entered the historic first season of the NRLW as money favourites to lift the first trophy, but have disappointed in their opening two weeks against the Brisbane Broncos (now 2-0) and the New Zealand Warriors (now 1-1).
It’s worrying, especially with a squad oozing representative talent like NSW halves commander Maddie Studdon and Newcastle live-wire Isabelle Kelly, the later of whom has already crossed twice in as many games for the Roosters.
With a 0-2 record already chalked up in the three-game regular season, the Roosters have entered panic mode ahead of their Saturday afternoon clash at Allianz Stadium, with a raft of changes heralding a move towards a comeback against the Red V.
Studdon has been hooked from the halfback role after two mixed weeks already under her belt, to be replaced by Zahara Temara as she moves to the utility position on the bench.
Sharon McGrady and Newcastle’s workhouse veteran Kylie Hilder have both been removed from the starting line-up as well, with Hilder dropping to the reserves in favour of fellow rake Nita Maynard.
The host of changes has opened the door for Parker however, and with their inaugural season on the line Sydney will be hoping the swaps can do what the original game plan could not in the first fortnight of league play – earn a victory and two crucial points.
The Roosters will also require the Broncos to belt the Warriors in the first-up Friday clash at AAMI park, while heaping the pain on the Dragons the next afternoon.
Sydney currently sit in last place with 0 points from two defeats and a -16 point difference, but if the Warriors and Dragons both fall all three teams beneath Brisbane will boast a one win, two loss record and point difference will come into play.
The Roosters’ match against the Dragons, and Parker’s very first appearance in the NRLW, will begin at 5.10pm. The game will be aired live on FOX Sports, Channel Nine and NRL Live Pass.