MATCH REPORT: Waratahs Women are through to the Grand Final

Fri, Apr 19, 2024, 9:32 AM
Waratahs Media
by Waratahs Media
Desiree Miller scoring one of her three tries
Desiree Miller scoring one of her three tries

The undefeated NSW Waratahs Women are through to the Buildcorp Super Rugby Women’s Grand Final after a dominant 47-27 victory over the ACT Brumbies Women at Allianz Stadium.

NSW will now face reigning champions the Fijian Drua in the decider next Sunday at Ballymore Stadium, where they will look to reclaim the crown they last won in 2021.

Just as they have been all season, the Waratahs wing combination of Desiree Miller and Maya Stewart were brilliant in the victory, registering a hat-trick and a brace of tries respectively.

And it was the star wingers who combined for NSW’s first try.

The Waratahs came out of the blocks firing and opened the scoring in just the third minute when Miller took a pass at first receiver and launched a fantastic crossfield kick for her wing partner Stewart to pounce on.

The visitors hit back five minutes later through right winger Biola Dawa when the Brumbies elected to attack the blindside off a scrum win.

Georgina Friedrichs regained the ascendency for the home side with a try in the 14th minute after a crisp interchange of passing between the Vice-Captain and Stewart on the wing.

NSW then went full steam ahead with back-to-back tries to Miller taking the Tahs out to a supreme advantage.

Miller’s second try in the 17th minute was a brilliant portrayal of the side’s attacking capability; 17-year-old fullback Caitlyn Halse dummied and broke clear before laying on a brilliantly weighted grubber kick for Miller to chase down.

Flyhalf Arabella McKenzie’s perfect form with the boot took NSW’s lead out to 23 points, before ACT lock Kate Holland muscled her way over from close range to reduce the Brumbies’ half-time deficit to 28-10.

ACT came out with renewed vigour in the second stanza. After flyhalf Faitala Moleka slotted a penalty goal two minutes into the final forty, a barging run by loosehead prop Sally Fuesaina saw the Brumbies claw their way back even further in the 46th minute.

But the Waratahs regained their composure and steadied the tide when swift passing out the backline enabled Miller to cross for her hat-trick.

Stewart then notched her double moments later, before Allana Sikimeti kept the Brumbies in the fight with a strong run in the 68th minute.

But a try to powerful interchange prop Siusiuosalafai Volkman ten minutes later put the result beyond doubt for the Waratahs.

McKenzie’s conversion from close to the right-hand flank sealed a 47-27 triumph for NSW and a spot in the Grand Final.

“It feels unreal,” Miller said.

“We worked on a lot during the week, and it was good to put it all into action tonight.

“We stayed calm, and we stayed patient and that’s what resulted in my hat-trick. I couldn’t have done it without the girls.

“The Brumbies is always a tough match so I’m just glad that we could hold them out and get that win.

“We’ve just got to keep the same prep for the Drua. If we just stick to our processes and build on those one-percenters, I feel like we’ll have a really good shot.”

NSW Waratahs Women 47

Tries: Desiree Miller 3, Maya Stewart 2, Georgina Friedrichs, Siusiuosalafai Volkman

Goals: Arabella McKenzie 6/7

Penalty Goals:

ACT Brumbies Women 27

Tries: Biola Dawa, Kate Holland, Sally Fuesaina, Allana Sikimeti

Goals: Faitala Moleka 2/4

Penalty Goals: Faitala Moleka 1/1

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