The NSW Waratahs Women have started their 2020 campaign on the right note, defeating the Melbourne Rebels 33-3 at AAMI Park.
A spirited start from the hosts was not enough to settle the two-time Champions, who found their groove after a stop-start opening quarter to run away with the result – keeping the Rebels try-less and earning a bonus point in the process.
Maya Stewart opened the Waratahs account in the sixth minute against the run of play, after Katrina Barker snatched an intercept in mid field and put the ball through the hands to find the flying winger in space.
It would be the first of three tries for Stewart, as the Port Stephens local again showed how dangerous she can be in open space.
The forward pack was dominant at the set piece, with a front row that featured debutants Bridie O’Gorman and Adiana Talakai coupled with the experience of Emily Chancellor, Sera Naiqama and Grace Hamilton.
That dominance resulted in two penalty tries, with the Rebels unable to respond to the strength and skill of the Waratahs rolling maul at close quarters.
1.Janita Kareta, 2.Ashley Marsters, 3.Titilia Yabaki, 4.Brooke Saunders, 5.Tiarah Minns, 6.May Saaga, 7.Melanie Kawa, 8.Nawel Remini, 9.Georgia Cormick, 10.Meretiana Robinso, 11.Vani Vaag, 12.Ashleigh Walker, 13.Nicola Emsley, 14.Jessica Rastric, 15.Gabi Bryan Reserves: Eireni Nanai, Indiana Lewis, Piper Tuifao, Annika Jamieson, Norma Fuaiva’a, Sheniqua Taula, Georgina Utia, Tyra Boysen-Auimatagai
NSW Waratahs Women:
1.Bridei O’Gorman, 2.Adiana Talakai, 3.Evlyn Horomia, 4. Noella Green, 5.Sera Naiqama, 6.Piper Duck, 7.Emily Chancellor, 8.Grace Hamilton, 9.Iliseva Batibasaga, 10.Pauline Piliae, 11.Courtney Frankl, 12.Katrina Barker, 13.Kennedy Cherrington, 14.Maya Stewart, 15.Chloe Leaupepe Reserves: Eva Karpani, Oneata Schwalger, Mikaela Trbojevich, Jemima Henry, Fi Jones, Lilyann Mason-Spice, Georgina Friedrichs, Layne Morgan