The NSW Waratahs continued their dynasty in the Super W competition with a dominant 45-12 performance over the Queensland Reds at C.ex International Stadium in Coffs Harbour.
Fans were treated to an enthralling encounter between two of the best slides in Super W for the Super W Grand Final.
It was a fast start with plenty of enterprising attack from both teams.
The Queensland Reds showed glimpses of brilliance and grafted hard to stay in the game with a couple of tries, but they were no match for the NSW Waratahs whose combinations and experience provided the platform for the backs to open up the game.
They were clinical in defence but it was their attack that ignited throughout the game, led around the park by Player of the Match Bella McKenzie.
Queensland drew first blood early, with team talisman Liz Patu crashing over after the Reds won a lineout 5 metres out from the NSW Waratahs line.
The NSW Waratahs marched downfield, with flyhalf McKenzie wrapping around to put Mahalia Murphy into hole. Murphy spun it out wide for Maya Stewart to score her seventh try of the competition.
The Tahs sparked back into the match, with McKenzie running the cutter. After a few phases, Tahs prop Eva Karpani steamrolled the Reds defence to score, with the conversion extending their lead.
The Tahs stepped up another gear, gaining ascendancy in the scrum and controlling possession. Linking through the backs, they got momentum in their favour and the whole team started gumming.
To close out the first half, Tahs inside centre Katrina Karker spun a wide cutout pass to Grace Hamilton, who shifted it onto Sera Naiqama, setting up winger Margot Vella for a try.
The Reds came out firing in the second half looking to turn the momentum in their favour but were left ruing missed opportunities with the ball not going to hand.
The Tahs then ventured into the reds 22, and after sustained pressure, the Reds defence opened up with Bella McKenzie running behind her own player to streak through for a try.
The Reds responded quickly with a try of their own through prop Bree-Anna Cheatham in what was to be their only other score. Not to be outdone, Bella McKenzie took the Tahs down the sideline, putting Mahalia Murphy through a hole. Murphy weaved her way through the Reds defence on her way to the try line.
From there the Tahs took control of the game, serving up a masterclass of running rugby. When Chancellor went over in the sixty-fifth minute the game was all but out of reach for the Reds and a late try to Morgot Vella put it beyond doubt.
The Reds kept fighting valiantly but were not able to convert their opportunities into points, as the Tahs shut them out late in the game with some staunch defence, energized by some timely substitutes.
The Tahs cemented their position as the best side in the country with a complete performance to secure their fourth Super W title. Remarkably, the NSW Waratahs have yet to lose a match since their inception.
For the Queensland Reds it will be back to the drawing board, buoyed by the knowledge they have an emerging crop of talented young stars to build a squad around in 2022.
Saturday 2 July 1:30 pm AEST – Waratahs v Reds at C.ex Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
WARATAHS (1-15): Emily Robinson, Adiana Talakai, Eva Karpani Kaitlan Leaney, Sera Naiqama, Piper Duck, Emily Chancellor, Grace Hamilton (c ), Illiseva Batibasaga, Arabella McKenzie, Margot Vella, Katrina Barker, Georgia Friedrichs, Maya Stewart, Mahalia Murphy
Reserves: Penelope Leiataua, Brianna Hoy, Bridie O’Gorman, Skye Churchill, Fi Jones, Ash Walker, Pauline Piliane, Layne Morgan,
INs: Ash Walker, Mahalia Murphy, Piper Duck
OUTs: Sabine Blakeman, Nicole Nathan, Georgina Tuipulotu
REDS (1-15): Bree-Anna Cheatham, Liz Patu, Christina Sekona, Aleena Greenhalgh, Annabelle Codey, Carola Kreis, Lucy Lockhart, April Ngatupuna, Destiny Brill, Cobie-Jane Morgan (c), Ivania Wong, Diaz Seumanutafa, Melanie Wilks, Emily Bass, Kauna Lopa
Reserves: Tiarna Molloy, Maletina Brown, Hilisha Samoa, Lesa Kaleti Mataafa, Maddie Schuck, Asaka Ono, Cecilla Smith, Natalie Wright
INS: Loretta Lealiifano
OUTS: Asaka Ono