The third annual Super W competition kicks off this weekend with Buildcorp again showing their support for the women’s game by sponsoring the competition. It could be said in the past that Buildcorp were better supporters of women’s rugby in Australia than Rugby Australia, but that’s definitely changing. While Buildcorp continue to support the game, RA have upped their ante as well.
While the financial support is being primarily focused on the national program, their is flow on to this competition. Expect to see a clear lift in the standard of the competition this year as each state program continues to improve and more some bright new stars are brought through the system.
The competition will have visibility like it has never had previously as well with every game to be broadcast live on Kayo Sports, RUGBY.com.au and the Rugby Xplorer app, while FOX SPORTS Australia will air every double header clash. The five-round schedule for 2020 features six clashes to be staged as double-headers with Super Rugby matches in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane.
Round 1 kicks off with a couple of crackers, with Queensland having the bye but taking on the touring Fiji team on Sunday afternoon at Ballymore.
MELBOURNE REBELS v NSW WARATAHS (LIVE ON RUGBY.COM.AU AND KAYO)
FRIDAY 14 FEBRUARY AT AAMI PARK (MELBOURNE). KICK-OFF 4:35PM (LOCAL TIME)
Reasons not to miss this match:
- While the Hamilton musical is the hottest Broadway (and beyond) gig around, Grace Hamilton is the hottest Australian Women’s rugby product around. Hamilton had a mammoth 2019, starring for the title winning Waratahs, captaining her country to a historic home series victory over Japan, and being the standout performer in a two test series against New Zealand. Hamilton is a tireless and barnestorming backrower and inspiring captain. She plays the game how it should be played – with tremendous physicality, undoubted skill and a big smile.
- The battle of the sevens is often one of the key match ups in a game of rugby, and this game is no different. Em Chancellor was the Australian Women’s Player of the Year in 2018 and is a key component of a highly skilled Waratah backrow. Matching up against her is a rookie in terms of Super W rugby, but an experienced rugby international, and captain of the Rebels – Mel Kawa. The PNG international is another product of the great University of Queensland Rugby club and one of the real characters of the game. As a senior player in the Rebels side, her clash with Chancellor will be a cracker.
1. Janita Kareta, 2. Ashley Marsters, 3. Titilia Yabaki, 4. Brooke Saunders, 5. Tiarah Minns, 6. May Saaga, 7. Melanie Kawa (c), 8. Nawel Remini, 9. Georgia Cormick, 10. Meretiana Robinson, 11. Vani Vaaga, 12. Ashleigh Walker, 13. Nicola Emsley, 14. Jessica Rastrick, 15. Gabi Bryan
16. Eireni Nanai, 17. Indiana Lewis, 18. Piper Tuifao, 19. Annika Jamieson, 20. Norma Fuaiva’a, 21. Sheniqua Taula, 22. Georgina Utia, 23. Tyra Boysen-Auimatagai
1 Bridie O’Gorman, 2 Adiana Talakai, 3 Evelyn Horomia, 4 Noella Green, 5 Sera Naiqama, 6 Piper Duck, 7 Emily Chancellor, 8 Grace Hamilton (C), 9 Iliseva Batibasaga, 10 Pauline Piliae, 11 Courtney Frankl, 12 Katrina Barker, 13 Kennedy Cherrington, 14 Maya Stewart, 15 Chloe Leaupepe
16. Eva Karpani, 17.Oneata Schwalger, 18. Mikaela Trbojevich, 19. Jemima Henry, 20. Fi Jones, 21. Lilyann Mason-Spice, 22. Georgina Friedrichs, 23. Layne Morgan
TIP: The Waratahs have never dropped a game in Super W history and I can’t see that changing against an enthusiastic Rebels team. Tahs by 28
BRUMBIES V RUGBY WA (LIVE ON FOX SPORTS, RUGBY.COM.AU AND KAYO)
SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY AT GIO STADIUM (CANBERRA). KICK-OFF 4:35PM (LOCAL TIME)
Reasons not to miss this match:
- There’s a couple of cracking family tales in this WA Rugby team. Experienced Wallaroo Trilleen Pomare will once again steer WA from the flyhalf position. She could be joined on the park at some stage by her sister, Paihau, who is set to make her debut from the bench at some stage. But their story is trumped by young Freida Ah-Sam at tight head prop, who gets to make her Super Rugby debut having secured the starting spot ahead of her mother, Sera.
- There’s lots to look forward to in the lock battle too. Veteran Rebecca Clough will again be doing the hard yards for WA, on a high having had the chance to pull on the famous Barbarians jersey a couple of times in the off-season. Opposing her will be one the rising stars of the competition, and the player who took her starting Wallaroo spot, Michaela Leonard. Leonard was a stand out for the Brumbies last year and was rewarded with her first Wallaroo cap. The development continues as she has been named as Brumbies captain for this Super W season.
1. Krystal Fyfe, 2. Harriet Elleman, 3. Louise Burrows, 4. Emily Sogal, 5. Michaela Leonard (c), 6. Emma Masi, 7. Rebecca Smyth, 8. Zali Waihape-Andrews, 9. Jane Garraway (c), 10. Ella Ryan, 11. Darcy Read, 12. Sammie Wood, 13. Pesi Palu, 14. Gabrielle Petersen, 15. Talei Qalo Wilson
16. Tania Ofamasaga, 17. Peta Cox, 18. Iris Verebalavu, 19. Grace Sullivan, 20. Pearl Rakete, 21. Phoebe Loughhead, 22. Claudia Obst, 23. Ainsley Scrivener
1. Hineana Dando, 2. Darryl Wickliffe, 3. Freida Ah-Sam, 4. Katie Barnes, 5. Rebecca Clough, 6. Taylavie Frost Kelemete, 7. Taylah Eastwood, 8. Neesha Barrett, 9. Ayisha Wigley, 10. Trilleen Pomare, 11. Dallys Tini, 12. Ariana Hira-Herangi, 13. Taj Heald, 14. Claudia Neilson, 15. Langley Sesega
16. Sera Ah-Sam, 17. Chrystal Asiata, 18. Yolanda Forsthye, 19. Emysen Robinson, 20. Chrystal Walters, 21. Moana Paul, 22. Cara Gleave, 23. Paihau Pomare
TIP: These two played off for the final spot in the top three last year with Brumbies getting a narrow victory. I suspect they will achieve something similar this round. Brumbies by 8