Broncos keen to Ruan a hens’ party
THE Broncos are bracing for fireworks in Friday night's NRLW clash with the Roosters, as Sydney prepare to welcome veteran forward Ruan Sims into their starting side.
The Jillaroos stalwart has not played since June after she fractured her thumb and broke her nose at the NRL's National Championships tournament on the Gold Coast.
Her rough trot with injuries continued last week, when she then missed the NRLW opener with a hamstring complaint.
But Sims will be raring to go for her return in Friday night's showdown with Brisbane and the Broncos forwards are on standby for a fierce clash.
Fellow Jillaroo and Broncos starting prop Heather Ballinger said while the Roosters had experience across their entire pack, she understood the influence Sims had and would not underestimate her, even after her lengthy spell on the sidelines.
"I don't go out with a mindset (that Sims will be underdone)," Ballinger said.
"I go out thinking she is 100 per cent and she will perform the way she does all the time. We have to be prepared that she is at that level and we have to shut it down.
"She can hit. She's very competitive.
"The name is great for them and it will boost them having her out there but we have to play it like every game … they do have a strong forward pack."
Ballinger is predicting a very physical encounter given the calibre of the two packs.
Sims will be supported by fellow long-time Australian prop Elianna Walton as well as NSW gun Vanessa Foliaki and Queenslanders Tazmin Gray and Zahara Temara.
The Broncos meanwhile boast some of the best forwards in Australia and New Zealand, including Steph Hancock, Rona Peters, Maitua Feterika and Teuila Fotu-Moala, as well as Jillaroos hooker Brittany Breayley.
Hancock herself said she had no concerns as to whether Brisbane could handle the Roosters at Allianz Stadium on Friday.
"I haven't played (Sims) for a while but that's not our focus," she said.
"We have one hell of a forward pack and we'll get our job done regardless of who's in front of us.
"On the field, you're not mates. Hopefully it will be a good contest and showcase the women's game to Australia and New Zealand."
Broncos coach Paul Dyer confirmed on Thursday that Brisbane would have no changes to the line-up he named on Tuesday.
There is a lot on the line for both teams, after the Roosters suffered a shock loss to the Warriors last Saturday.
Brisbane meanwhile will fight to maintain their status as the NRLW competition leaders.