The Waratahs were guaranteed a Final position heading into the match, but that was not an excuse for them to take the foot off the accelerator, defeating the Brumbies by a three-converted try margin.
The Waratahs were guaranteed a Final position heading into the match, but that was not an excuse for them to take the foot off the accelerator.
The Brumbies on the other hand had the difficult task of having to win by at least 15 points (or grab a bonus point) to make the grand final, but the Waratahs defence was impenetrable.
Doubles to Arabella McKenzie and Maya Stewart put the Waratahs in a commanding position.
McKenzie, who usually plays 10 for the Tahs, started at fullback in place of Mahalia Murphy. Her inclusion at 15 ignited her running game and moments into the match she opened the scoring after hitting the ball at speed, courtesy of a Georgina Friedrichs short ball.
McKenzie got the Waratahs off to the perfect start after converting her own try.
Both teams were guilty of poor handling, but the Waratahs camped themselves in the Brumbies’ 22 which resulted in a build-up of pressure. This dominance in possession was too overbearing that an intentional bat-back in the in-goal by a Brumby, resulted in a yellow card. That was the catalyst for McKenzie’s second try.
McKenzie was given just enough space to step back on the inside and beat a number of defenders, which came from a strong carry by Grace Hamilton the play before.
Moments later, the Brumbies opted to take the three points and chew up time while still down to 14 players. This took the score to 12-3.
However, as the siren for half time sounded – try-scoring sensation Maya Stewart took the Waratahs lead to 16 at the break, with McKenzie adding another two points to her total.
With the score at 19-3, the Waratahs picked up where they left off, posting the first points of the second half after back-to-back penalties opened the gates for Stewart to grab her second.
Again Stewart out-paced her opposing winger, this time from the scrum, to pick up her 18th try in just 11 games – a Waratahs record (both male and female).
The Waratahs were in the mood for breaking records, this time by schoolgirl Georgina Tuipulotu who became the youngest ever Waratah to play Super Rugby at just 17 years, 5 months and 13 days.
The youngest previous to her was Kurtley Beale at just 18 years and 27 days, back in 2007.
Despite making history, Tuipulotu found herself with a yellow in the 80th minute for diving into the ruck, but it made no difference to the end result with the Waratahs coming away 24-3 victors.
The NSW Waratahs will be looking to retain their Buildcorp Super W Championship and undefeated record this Saturday. Match details to be confirmed tomorrow.
NSW Waratahs 24 (Tries; 2 A. McKenzie, 2 M. Stewart, Goals; 2 A. McKenzie) def ACT Brumbies 3 (Penalty Goal; E. Ryan)