Fijiana Drua captain Bitila Tawake has likened consecutive Tremendous W titles to “profitable the World Cup” after her aspect beat the Queensland Reds 38-30 in a pulsating grand ultimate in Townsville.
The Drua’s physicality and offloading was an excessive amount of for a courageous Reds outfit that fought exhausting within the second half after discovering themselves on the fallacious finish of three fast tries that blew out the margin.
A breakaway run by skipper Tawake triggered a momentum shift after Reds centre Alana Elisaia’s blindside beating of two defenders put Renae Nona over early within the second half.
Sereima Leweniqila’s diving end gave the Drua the lead once more after which from the restart the Fijians had been flying. Karalaini Naisewa broke a few tackles to open up Queensland’s defence and a proper edge fingers play put Adita Milinia over.
Within the blink of an eye fixed, the Drua had turned a three-point deficit into an 11-point lead.
Luisa Basei’s penalty purpose added three extra to their tally earlier than Naisewa made a strip in a sort out on midway and pinned the ears again to attain the Drua’s third of the second half.
Queensland would cross twice extra by hooker Tiarna Molloy and Sam Curtis within the ultimate quarter-hour however the harm was executed because the Drua turned a fourth-place general end in 2023 into one other championship.
“Earlier than we went into this week, we talked about creating your individual historical past,” Tawake mentioned.
“We had a brand new bunch of ladies this yr and we advised them if you wish to win, it’s important to create your individual historical past after which they did it as we speak.
“It is like profitable the World Cup to us again at dwelling. It means a lot to us that we will do one thing huge.”
For the Reds, the loss marks one other yr of heartache for the membership who at the moment are zero wins from 5 Tremendous W grand finals.
Coach Simon Craig mentioned it was little “key moments” that differentiated the perimeters and the Drua’s chemistry in the end prevailed.
“We went down by eight in opposition to basically what’s a world group that stay and prepare collectively every single day of the week,” he mentioned.
“Our women are nonetheless preventing it exhausting and dealing a full-time job, making an attempt to play a full-time sport of rugby in knowledgeable environment.
“To get to that time and to overlook the consequence by key moments … I am actually happy with them. Love ’em.”
Either side promised to deliver a definite degree of physicality to the competition and it was the Drua that confirmed their playing cards early within the first half, opting to flood midfield with their burgeoning pack and drive the Reds to throw numbers their approach.
However Queensland secured a sooner begin when a Drua turnover in their very own half led to Elisaia pouncing on damaged play and beating two defenders for the opening strive.
The Drua hit again instantly when Tawake prolonged from the bottom of a ruck and so they had the lead when a gorgeous piece of counter-attacking play led to a 50m strive.
Queensland threatened down the left edge off a set-piece play that was coughed up cheaply and Drua flanker Sulita Waisega cracked the defensive position earlier than discovering Mereoni Nakesa to attain below the posts.
At 14-7, errors on both aspect of the ball led to an arm wrestle in the midst of the park earlier than the Drua discovered themselves defending a number of phases off ruck infringements and penalties.
The Reds seemed their finest when centres Cecilia Smith and Elisaia mixed however too many deep territory errors value them a shot at any additional tries within the opening 40 minutes.
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