NSW's Women have finished the regular Super W rounds undefeated, locking in a home final, with a 57-0 victory over the Rebels Women.
The story of the day was not only the continuing dominance of the NSW outfit but missed opportunities by the hosts to make their own impact on the scoreboard.
NSW scored quickly with a converted try by Iliseva Batibasaga within the first two minutes, but the pace of the game seemed to steady, with the Rebels holding NSW to account in the midfield with some good efforts in the contest, though they lost opportunities when a chance to move forward presented itself.
A second NSW try through O’Brien in the 15th minute was then added to five minutes later by Crystal Maguire, with Ash Hewson having no trouble putting through her second conversion and pushing the score out to 19-0.
Maguire scored her second and the team’s fourth with the game only half an hour old, NSW having 70 per cent of the possession at one point.
While it wasn’t always one-way traffic, pressure from the NSW defence forced errors from the Rebels when they did get their hands on the ball.
Underlining NSW's dominance of the first half, Shanice Parker scored a double in the closing five minutes to take a 40-0 lead to the rooms, with five conversions from Ash Hewson topping off the six-try rampage.
The Rebels started the second half with some early possession looking to create opportunities but ball handling errors took their toll and gave the visitors some easy turnovers.
Ash Marsters was instrumental for the Rebels, as was Jacqueline Te’o, in trying to affect some turnover possession.
The spirit and determination of the home side was evident but the pressure and counter rucking from NSW lead to continued errors.
Kennedy Cherrington added her name to the NSW scoring in the 47th minute followed a short time later by a try from Fi Jones, who benefitted from some impact off the bench.
The effect of Wallaroos Grace Hamilton and Emily Robinson joining the contest was immediately felt in support of that eighth try.
The experience of the NSW scrum with those fresh legs in the front row made the Rebels’ job even harder as they tried to limit the NSW attacking pressure.
The Rebels had started the game with just 22 fit players on their list and by midway through the second half, the effects of this were becoming evident.
Despite this the Rebels looked to still be creating attacking opportunities into the final 20 minutes of the game and holding a strong line in defence, allowing in only one try, to Hamilton, for the final 15 minutes and keeping NSW to 17 points in the second half.
To their credit, the Rebels fought to the end, still pushing forward in the final five minutes of the game but the consistent theme was opportunities lost in their last line of attack.
Overall the possession stats evened out and the second half effort by the home side to restrain the NSW momentum was impressive, despite the final score.
That’s a wrap for the Rebels in this first Super W season while NSW will have the week off to prepare for another titanic clash with rival Queensland in the competition final on April 20.
Rebels Women 0
Tries: Maguire 2, Parker 2, Batibasaga, O'Brien, Cherrington, Jones, Hamilton
Cons: Hewson 6