Rebels Women fall to classy Tahs to end season

Rebels and Waratahs Women in action at at Box Hill Rugby Club
Rebels and Waratahs Women in action at at Box Hill Rugby Club
©Melbourne Rebels

The Melbourne Rebels' inaugural Buildcorp Super W season has come to a close, after NSW Waratahs Women ran out convincing 57-0 winners at Box Hill Rugby Club on Saturday afternoon.

The Waratahs Women ended the home-and-away season undefeated, on top of the Super W table and laid the claim to Grand Final hosting rights in a fortnight’s time.

The visitors were never headed, controlling the tempo from start to finish, led by brace of tries to Waratahs pair, Crystal Maguire and Shanice Parker.

NSW were on the board after the first two minutes when Illiseva Batibasaga took the ball from the breakdown just five metres from the line to stroll over for the first points of the day.

The Rebels made several try-saving tackles, led by Mere Robinson, on the left hand-side, however weight of opportunity favoured the visitors, led by Chloe Leaupepe.

The Waratahs fly half’s cutting run in midfield opened up play at the quarter-hour mark of the first half, before the support run from Pareake O’Brien was rewarded for the Waratahs’ second try.

Minutes later, NSW’s ability to retain the ball and quick recycle from the ruck was rewarded with multiple line breaks; Maguire bursting through the Rebels defence to score next to the posts for the visitor’s third.

The centre bettered her effort almost with the next play, with a brilliant solo effort from a scrum on the Rebels’ 22, dummying twice to cross the line under the posts for her second.

In the shadows of half time, NSW’s running power from the set piece was on display yet again, with Parker finishing off some clean passing to score in the right-hand side corner.

The Rebels had a golden chance in stoppage time when Jacqueline Te’o was brought down just inches before the line. The home side couldn’t convert however, when clever defending from Ashleigh Hewson cleared the ball from danger.

The very next play, Parker added her second as she completed a blistering 40-metre run to score under the posts to close out the first half – NSW 40-0 to the good.

Kennedy Cherrington opened the scoring account in the second half after six minutes, following a patient build-up from the NSW forwards.

Across a much-improved second half, the Rebels did their best to stem the flow in their own territory. They were no match however, when the Waratahs’ Emily Robinson’s barnstorming run was finished off by Fiona Jones, crossing the line for her first try of the afternoon.

Waratahs substitute Grace Hamilton got in on the act in the 70th minute, as she muscled over for a strong try, in what proved to be the final score for the match.

For the Rebels, scrum half Georgia Cormick was impressive in the losing cause, with strong support across the day from Ashley Marsters, Alice Tonumaivao and Tangata Tupou.

The Waratahs will meet the Queensland Reds Women in the first-ever Buildcorp Super W Grand Final in Sydney on Saturday 21 April.