Five things we learnt from Super W Grand Final

Sat, Apr 23, 2022, 6:28 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Fijiana Drua were looking to create history against a Waratahs side who held the Super W trophy since inception.

It's going to take something special for this Super W Final to not end up the best game of Super Round.

The Fijiana Drua were deserved winners as they powered home with a late rally whilst the Waratahs will be gutted after their second-half comeback just fell short.

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So what did we learn from the Super W Final.

1.Perfect advertisement

If you want to show anyone a game of women’s Rugby, put this straight on.

This was everything and more than promised, with the Fijiana Drua pulling off an epic victory over the NSW Waratahs.

Take nothing away from the defending champions, they defended their hearts out and would arguably beat every other team conformably with that performance.

However, this was all about the Fijiana Drua, who are one of the best stories so far in Rugby as they claimed the win.

2. Break the bias

Speaking of the Drua, this could have 2016 Olympic-esque levels of impact on the next generation of Fijian women's Rugby players.

Captain Bitila Tawake detailed after the game the lengths the girls went to just to participate, with the sport looked down on in comparison to the men's, with their growing success so vital for their future.

"It's time to change that barrier and allowing us girls to play at this level, it's huge," she said after the match. "It was really hard to convince my dad to play Rugby and I had to put a pause on my school to do something I really love.

"This win is something we can take back home and all the girls will want to play Rugby now. The men will now look up to us and not down on us so this is a huge change for Fiji."

3.Standing up

When they needed them the most, the Wallaroo contingency stood up for the Waratahs, especially led by Emily Chancellor and Iliseva Batibasaga.

The pair were elite over the ball as time after time, they somehow got the turnover and got them out of jail.

Chancellor was a titan in defence and consistently took the ball over the line in a game where Fijiana’s defence was rock-solid.

Meanwhile, Batibasaga continues to get better and if this ends up being her last game in sky blue as alluded to the SMH a couple of weeks ago, it’s an incredible way to go out at Super W level.

4. Deja vu

The Waratahs found themselves sucked into the same script as their previous encounter with the Drua, flipping momentum in the first half.

Once again, their dominance at rolling maul time earned penalty after penalty as hooker Vika Matarugu eventually was sent to the bin.

Instead of going with another 5-metre line out, they opted for a scrum, resulting in a loose ball after a great hit on Lori Cramer, allowing the Drua to march into their 22.

It was almost the exact same formula as the start of that second half on the Gold Coast, when Raijieli Laqeretabua sealed that game with an intercept, as Vitaline Naikore crossed the line as they took a 17-5 lead.

5.Fijian flair

The joy of the Fijian style of Rugby was on full display during the second half of this game.

On countless times, the Drua put enormous pressure on the Waratahs line and earned several kickable penalties that would have the lead.

But that goes against what makes Fijians and the Drua so exciting and entertaining, trusting their reliable quick tap and eventually finding a way over through Naikore.