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FIjiana Drua, NSW Waratahs confirm sides for Super W Grand Final

Thu, 21/04/2022, 4:57 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Waratahs captain Grace Hamilton and Fijiana captain Bitila Tawake have spoken about their excitement ahead of the Super W final in Melbourne.

The Fijian Drua and NSW Waratahs have confirmed their sides for the Super W Grand Final.

The match will be played as part of Super Round on Saturday April 23, with the Drua aiming to finish the season unbeaten after their dominant victory over the defending champions on the Gold Coast.

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They have made several changes to the side that defeated the Brumbies a fortnight ago, with Vika Matarugu coming into the starting front-row at hooker.

Merevesi Ofakimalino is joined in the second row by Jade Coates as Karalaini Naisewa and Ema Adivitaloga slot into flanker alongside Sereima Leweniqila.

Kolora Lomani re-joins the side for the decider, slotting on the wing as Younis Bese returns to the bench.

Rejiele Uluinayau and Sera Seini Ravatude are amongst the new faces on the bench.

As for the Waratahs, they have made one change to the starting front-row for the rematch, with Bridie O’Gorman switching with Eva Karpani at tight head prop.

Arabella McKenzie has made a remarkable recovery just days from being carried off the field on a stretcher, partnering Illseva Batibasaga in the halves.

Lori Cramer returns to the starting side on the wing whilst Pauline Piliae slots into inside centre as Katrina Baker failed to overcome a shoulder complaint.

“Pauline fits in nicely in that second playmaker role and as we like to play a fairly expansive game, her passing and ability to distribute and kick well give us more options,” Aitken said.

“We’re hoping with Pauline at 12 it will allow us to play a bit quicker and wider.”

FIJIANA (1-15): Joma Rubuti, Vika Matarugu, Bitila Tawake (c), Jade Coates, Merevesi Ofakimalino, Karalaini Naisewa, Ema Adivitaloga, Sereima Leweniqila, Rusila Tamoi, Merewalesi Rokouono, Vitalina Naikore, Roela Radiniyavuni, Raijieli Laqeretabua, Kolora Lomani, Timaima Ravisa

RESERVES: Keleni Marawa, Mereoni Naositava, Sera Seini Ravatude, Akosita Ravato, Teresia Tinanivalu, Rejiele Uluinayau, Vani Arei, Younis Bese

WARATAHS (1-15): Emily Robinson, Natalie Delamere, Bridie O’Gorman, Kaitlan Leaney, Sera Naiqama, Piper Duck, Emily Chancellor, Grace Hamilton, Illseva Batibasaga, Arabella McKenzie, Lori Cramer, Pauline Piliae, Georgina Friedrichs, Margot Vella, Mahalia Murphy

RESERVES: Faliki Pohiva, Adiana Talakai, Eva Karpani, Sabine Blakeman, Ella Koster, Nicole Nathan, Tatum Bird, Layne Morgan

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