Tahs beat Reds to ice unbeaten Super W regular season

April 12, 2024 9:10 pm

[Source: Waratahs/Facebook]

The Waratahs will enter the Super Rugby Women finals as overwhelming favourites for a fifth title after a 34-19 defeat of the Queensland Reds confirmed an unbeaten regular season.

The NSW side had already secured first place on the ladder prior to Friday’s clash with their interstate rivals and will now host either the ACT Brumbies or Western Force in a home semi-final next Friday.

The loss at Allianz Stadium officially ends a disappointing campaign for last season’s runners-up, who managed just one win from five starts in 2024.

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If the Melbourne Rebels upset the Fijian Drua on Saturday, the perennial Super W heavyweights will finish the season in last place.

Mid-game leg injuries to prop Charli Jacoby and winger Dianne Waight did not help Queensland’s cause, with the Waratahs scoring shortly after each setback to rub salt into the wounds.

Jacoby managed to return in the second half, charging over for the Reds’ second try, but the visitors lost outside centre Georgina Friedrichs to yet another leg issue not long afterwards.

The Waratahs should have been further ahead than 17-7 at the main break but were clumsy shifting the ball.

They opened the scoring in the first five minutes, overwhelming the Reds with their ruck speed to help Atasi Lafai burrow over.

Only three minutes later after Waight had gone down, Waratahs fullback Caitlyn Halse ripped the ball from replacement winger Alana Elisaia and streaked 60 metres down the left side to extend the advantage.

The Waratahs lost Kaitlan Leaney to a yellow card just before the break, the second-rower ordered off for lifting Lucy Thorpe in a dangerous tackle.

It proved the spark the Reds needed to get into the game, with Tiarna Molloy barging over to get the visitors on the board barely a minute later.

Captain Cecilia Smith followed Jacoby onto the scoreboard and helped the Reds keep the heat on their highly-fancied hosts in the final 10 minutes

But it was too little too late as inside centre Cheech Barker skipped through a hole on the left side to confirm the Waratahs’ win.