The Waratahs have kept their undefeated record alive after a 48-0 victory over Merewether Carlton on Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t an easily earned win, however, as the ‘Tahs were forced to call on the last of their energy in a non-stop defending period against the “relentless” Greens outfit to keep their noses ahead to the death.
“The scoreboard may seem big on our side, in the end, but it was one of our closest games on the field, and Merewether – to their massive credit – just never stopped hitting us until the last minute,” Waratahs co-coach Loni Vikilani told the Chronicle after the ‘Tahs fifth win of the season.
“I think we had to defend for the last ten minutes straight, and everyone on the field was tired and dragging their feet, but we held the Greens off. It was so impressive to see, from both sides. These women do everything they can for each other out their in the match, and we saw that when Merewether didn’t let up until the whistle.”
While defensive efforts kept the Waratahs’ conceded points to nil, they also crossed eight times against the Greens. State rugby star Maya Stewart contributed a hat-trick to the 48-point haul from outside centre, while Tahs eight Toyah Nicholas notched a five-pointer for herself too.
Maryann Tuisalega had a field day for the side. The Waratahs prop crashed over the line four times on Sunday afternoon to contribute 20 of the 48 points for the side. Captain and halfback Tahlia Goldsmith slotted four of the potential eight conversions on offer to add eight points to the victory.
The 48-nil triumph against the Greens, who had been sniffing around the ‘Tahs’ tails ahead of the clash at Townson Oval, puts the league leaders two wins ahead of the pack after the first five rounds. While most coaches would be pleased to make more than a month undefeated to begin their campaign, Vikilani believes his girls “have another gear to hit” before they are fulling firing on all cylinders.
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“The girls are maturing every game, from the start of the season when we were pretty much relying on week-by-week star performances, and now the girls are leading themselves in the half-time talks and pointing to what needs to be fixed,” he said.
“When the half-time whistle goes, all the girls come together and they break down the areas they feel like they’ve been lacking in, and tell each other what needs fixing. I think that shows just how much they’ve been growing and growing in regards to learning and mastering the game, and getting to that next level again.”
Also in the NRHU Women’s fifth round, Hamilton stayed one win behind the Tahs with a 43-5 victory over University. Nicole Nathan scored four for the Hawks, and added a goal to her tally in the 38-point win.
Finally, Maitland put competitive points on the board for the first time in 2019, downing Medowie 51-nil at Marcellin Park. The result sees the Blacks move to 1-4 in the season, while the Marauders are left locked at the tail of the competition, for now.
TABLE: Waratahs (5-0), Hamilton (4-1), Merewether-Carlton (3-2), Easts-University (2-3), Maitland (1-4), Medowie (0-5).