Treherne not satisfied with breakout 2018 season

by Sarah Friend

Describing Samantha Treherne's 2018 rugby rise as meteoric would be almost underplaying the progress the Sevens and XVs rising star has made in her rugby career this year.

The Melbourne-born back has made waves in both the Sevens and XVs forms of the game this year, quickly becoming one of Australia's most exciting rugby talents.

After playing for Queensland in the inaugural Super W competition, Treherne represented the Wallaroos in two Test against New Zealand, debuted for the Australian Women’s Sevens team and also playing for Griffith in the second year of the Aon Uni 7s.

It was a busy year for Treherne but she is not keen to slow down anytime soon, equally passionate about XVs and Sevens.

Treherne has already broached the subject of committing to both in 2019, though her development involvement with the Sevens is currently taking most of her focus.

“I’ve spoken to Dwyane Nestor the Wallaroos coach and Johnny’s aware of it that I want to be involved with XV’s as much as Sevens,” she said.

“Right now, my priority is Sevens. It’s such a huge thing that I want to do well, and I’m so new to it so if I can commit to Sevens while the World Series is on then try and get back for the XV’s and play as much as I can before my time is up.”

She's far from the only high-profile player to be splitting her time between Sevens and XVs - Sevens co-captains Shannon Parry and Sharni Williams both played for the Wallaroos in last year's Women's Rugby World Cup.

In the men's sphere, Michael Wells recently signed a split deal with the Waratahs and Aussie men's Sevens for next year.

Treherne made her World Series debut in the 2018-19 opener in Colorado and stepped up under adversity to help the Aussies to bronze in Dubai.

Her transition back to the shorter format might appear seamless to outsiders but Treherne said it was far from a simple move.

“It was a bit tricky at the start,” Treherne said.

“The coaches knew that I had a XVs background, which helped me and gave me confidence to play my own Sevens game.

"I know Shannon Parry and Sharni Williams had a XVs background so to come into this team knowing I could bring some XVs into it worked out well for me.”

Things across all forms of rugby have clearly worked out pretty well for Treherne, who struggled to name just one highlight in a breakout season.

“It's hard to say this year, there's just been so many - from the XVs playing for Australia then obviously my dream playing for the Sevens it’s a bit hard to compare," she said.

“Representing Queensland has always been a huge thing for me no matter if it’s the Super W, Sevens or the tens it’s so hard to pin point at the moment.”

Even in her own whirlwind year, Treherne was 

“I think it was huge,” she said.

“For myself and other girls it was great exposure, to be able to have the level that we play at for XVs then also go into Aon.

“You have more knowledge of the game, you’re not coming into the Sevens or XV’s at Australian level with unknown knowledge because you’re learning it through the different levels that you play with Aon and Super W.

“I think it’s helped quite a lot.”

Her own high standards mean Treherne wasn't satisfied with a strong personal year and being on the end of a match-defining tackle in the Super W final was something that still haunted her.

That Super W final between NSW and Queensland was considered one of the best matches of the year, an epic that went into extra-time before Queensland after an epic Ash Hewson tackle on Treherne on her way to a match-winning try.

“Think I just saw the line and I think I was just hoping I could get over it, but I just got my footing wrong and just completely choked,” Treherne said.

“If it was anyone that could get me out I’m happy it was Ash (Hewson). Think I was more gutted and devastated that I couldn’t get over for my team in that crucial moment.

In Treherne's second Wallaroos season, she said the effect of that inaugural Super W competition that replaced a week-long nationals, was clearly having a positive impact.

“Yeah we didn’t get the win but the way the girls came into training, they had more knowledge of what we wanted. The way that our coaches gave us the information throughout the year they set quite a high standard,” she said.

“To play the 80 minutes of Super W, which was a high level 80 minutes then to go into your training every night which was sent to everyone across the country. Then to come into camp we didn’t have to go back to basics.

“We knew what our standard was, and we were lifting again. Going into Wallaroos you could tell.

“There’s still a lot to go but it’s getting there but if we stick to what we keep doing and trust our coaches, we can go a long way.”