Waratahs, Fijian Drua storm to Super Women’s wins

Alex Mitchell |

Atelaite Buna of the Drua is tackled during the Super Rugby Women’s match against the ACT Brumbies.
Atelaite Buna of the Drua is tackled during the Super Rugby Women’s match against the ACT Brumbies.

The NSW Waratahs and the Fijian Drua have continued on their Super Rugby Women’s collision course, with both posting comfortable wins on Saturday.

The Drua further built their title defence by grinding out a 20-7 win against the ACT Brumbies, while the Waratahs’ attacking firepower proved too much for the Western Force in a 45-21 drubbing.

NSW end the round on top of the ladder with their perfect 4-0 record, but the Drua are a game back in second, with the duo clearly the teams to beat for the title.

Winning for a second straight week, the two-time reigning champions Drua looked clunky in attack early but clicked into gear to win well at GIO Stadium.

A game-breaking run and offload from Drua centre Merewai Cumu early in the second half put winger Atelaite Buna through to score and set them on course for the win.

Fullback Luisa Tisolo had knocked over a penalty goal on 35 minutes to give the Drua a 10-7 lead, although keeping the damage to three points felt like a win for the Brumbies after a lengthy stint defending in their own 22m.

Drua flanker Sulita Waisega opened the scoring after gathering a deft kick and powering away, with a 7-0 advantage the least the visitors deserved from a strong opening 15 minutes.

But just as the Fijian forwards looked to be taking over after forcing a series of penalties, the Brumbies’ rolling maul hit back in impressive fashion, with hooker Tania Naden driven over to knot the scores at 7-7.

The Brumbies remain fourth on the table, and with a five-point advantage on the Reds appear close to being locked in for finals.

At McGillivray Oval, the Western Force took three first-half penalty goals to cut a 12-0 deficit back to 12-9, before being blown away by the powerful Waratahs.

NSW No.8 Leilani Nathan and hooker Brittany Merlo each nabbed doubles, while speedy winger Maya Stewart scored one try and created another for Layne Morgan in a stylish second half.

Michaela Leonard nabbed a consolation try for the Force when NSW player Ruby Anderson was sin-binned for repeated infringements, and winger Renae Nona grabbed another when Atasi Lafai was also sent for the same crime.

The dynamic Waratahs are scoring more than 47 points per game on average this season.