Katrina ‘Cheech’ Barker and Maya Stewart have earned a place in the Super W grand final with the Waratahs, after a massive 66-12 victory over the Melbourne Rebels kept the NSW Womens side undefeated in 2019.
Stewart had the honour of opening proceedings in the 54-point rout in Bathurst, crossing the line just two minutes into the clash. While the Nelson Bay star scored just one, it was Shanice Parker that shone in the majors department.
The 24-year-old bagged four of the ‘Tahs eventual 10 tries in the match against the Rebels, with Melissa Fatu adding a double to proceedings. Evelyn Horomia, Arabella McKenzie and Ashelee Hewson all marked their name on the scoresheet as well.
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A slick game played in sleeting rain meant the Bathurst crowd same plenty of handling errors and problems in attack and defence as both sides tried to find their footing, but Cheech Barker stepped up in her new role in the halves for the ‘home’ side.
The Newcastle Waratahs product had a solid outing, playing out just under 70 minutes before stepping off for a breather with a berth in the final – and a chance for the Hunter local to defend her Super W crown after injuries stripped her of the chance at the big dance in 2018.
The Waratahs are now undefeated in nine games, and look to make it double digits when they aim to go back-to-back at Leichardt Oval next month.
NSW will now keep a close eye on the Reds and the Brumbies as they face off in the Super W playoff series next Sunday at Ballymore. TThe grand final will be played on April 7, and will mark the first time the event will be a stand-alone fixture.