Super W: Brumbies snatch finals spot with win over RugbyWA

Super W
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Brumbies women are through to the Super W finals after a 17-12 win over RugbyWA in their final regular season match on Sunday.

Coming into the final round with one win apiece, third place and the final playoff spot was up for grabs in Perth and it was the Brumbies who snapped it up.

The ACT outfit will travel to Brisbane next week to play second-placers Queensland for a chance to meet the undefeated Waratahs in a grand final a week later.

Rugby WA took less than a minute to get within scoring range but Taylor Waterson fell just short of the line after nailing an unlikely charge down deep in attack.

There was no such question mark over their second effort, just 30 seconds letter with Claudia Neilson collecting a slick outside pass to dot down in the right hand corner.

That was the end of their momentum, though, with the Brumbies running over the top of the home side as the game ticked on.

The Brumbies began to pile the pressure on and Georgia O’Neill converted a multi-phase play before halfback Remi Wilton barrelled her way over from a recycle to put the Brumbies out to a seven-point lead.

Things became somewhat of a grind after that with neither side able to score as the opening half ticked on, though the Brumbies made some promising attacking breaks.

No. 8 Tayla Stanford ensured the Brumbies added some points right on half-time, powering over in a pack to stretch their advantage to 12 points at the break.

WA had their share of opportunities early in the second half and a run of Brumbies penalties helped the hosts in their efforts but they couldn’t turn their advantage into points against the ACT defence.

Star back Mhicca Carter, playing in the halfback jersey on Sunday, took it upon herself to try and lift her teammates but with little support the Wallaroo could only do so much.

A yellow card for the Brumbies women gave WA a major advantage but the hosts couldn't convert an opportunity into points against a relentless Brumbies defence.

Brumbies fullback Rachel Crothers had the most promising attack of the second half with a fast break into space but a no-look outside pass ended the ACT's chances.

Replacement RugbyWA prop Brooke Mason made an immediate impact off the bench and it paid off with the front rower scoring the side's second try with three minutes to go and putting them 

Ultimately, though, they were beaten by the clock with the Brumbies forcing a scrum in the final minute and hanging on for the victory.

Brumbies captain Shellie Millward was proud of her side's efforts but felt there was more to unlock in attack after another performance heavy on defence.

"It was a bit scrappy and we're forced to go away from our game plan at times," she said.

" felt we defended a lot of the game and didn't get our attack on point but the girls hung in there."

RugbyWA captain Tara Reed was "gutted" by the result but urged her team to believe in themselves after just missing out on finals for the second year in a row.

"I'm absolutely gutted to be honest, she said.

"I really thought we could do it but we just didn't quite have it in the end. 

"They jut really need to believe in themselves. We've got talent, heaps of talent, they just lack that confidence in themselves, so going into next year, I just want to say (to the team), just believe in yourself and go hard."

The Brumbies will take on Queensland on Sunday April 1 at Ballymore with the winner to face off against the undefeated Waratahs women a week later, most likely at Leichhardt Oval.

RESULT

RugbyWA 12

Tries: Nielson

Brumbies 17

Tries: O’Neill, Wilton, Stanford, Mason

Cons: Wood