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Caslick starts with a bang as Roosters stun Dragons in season opener

She looked crowded at times as she adjusted to the lack of space in rugby league, as opposed to the vast expanses of open field in sevens rugby, but still carved up the Dragons with some slick running and a strong left-hand fend.

An offload from Caslick set up McGregor for the decisive final try, with Caslick backing into the tackle, popping it out the back and turning around to see her captain set sail for the corner.

Roosters cross-code star Charlotte Caslick leaves Kezie Apps clutching at air.

Roosters cross-code star Charlotte Caslick leaves Kezie Apps clutching at air.Credit:Getty

And it’s clear the best is yet to come. Caslick is a natural ball runner and her playmaking skills and ability to bring her teammates into the contest will only improve with more playing time. Her defence stacked up just fine and the Dragons were sure to test her out as much as they could.

“Outstanding. She was exceptional,” Michael Ennis said on Fox. “She’s got a beautiful left-hand fend, great balance and speed. She combined beautifully with Corban McGregor and she was one of the stars of the show today.”

The scoreline was wide in the end but it was tight for much of the first half. The Roosters had a 6-4 lead 10 minutes before the break but they were starting to pepper the Dragons line and ask plenty of questions.

St George Illawarra's Isabelle Kelly brings down Sydney Roosters skipper Corban McGregor.

St George Illawarra’s Isabelle Kelly brings down Sydney Roosters skipper Corban McGregor.Credit:Getty

Keely Davis left the field for an head injury assessment five minutes before half-time before Kezie Apps took a heavy shot of her own, although she was able to continue. But even her presence couldn’t stop the Roosters from taking a 12-4 lead at the break courtesy of a try to impressive dummy-half Quincy Dodds.

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The Dragons were on the end of a puzzling ruling when Ellie Johnston, who produced some cracking hits, picked up a quick play-the-ball and dived over to score. The try was disallowed … and then the Dragons were given the ball back and a penalty.

It wasn’t clear why the try wasn’t simply awarded, nor did the Dragons have the presence of mind to opt for a captain’s challenge, which they would have won to put themselves back in the game.

Once that moment was gone, they never reclaimed momentum. Temara Zahara helped herself to a penalty to put the Roosters up 14-4, before Caslick’s offload sparked the movement that saw McGregor launch over for the match winner.

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