Taylors Wines Top 5: Super W Final

By Pete Fairbairn, 20.04.18

It’s time again for the Taylors Wines Top 5, where we wrap up the best of Australia’s professional players in the media this week (and also give you a great wine tip courtesy of Taylors)!

All four Australian teams are in action in Super Rugby this weekend, while the Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens team head to Kitakyushu (Japan) as they look to make it three tournament wins in a row on the World Rugby Sevens series.

Their pool matches are all on Saturday, against China (12:36pm AEST), Ireland (3:20pm) and Spain (6:04pm), with Cup Quarter Finals kicking off from 11:30am on Sunday and the Cup Final at 6:30pm – the last two hours of the competition will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports 507.

Click here for the full match schedule of the Kitakyushu Sevens.

Back on Australian soil, and it’s a double header at Allianz Stadium on Friday with the Buildcorp Super W Final kicking off at 4:45pm and then the Super Rugby action starting at 7:45pm, as the ‘Tahs host the Lions.

Saturday night sees the Reds host the Chiefs at 7:45pm, the 1000th match in their history, before the Rebels are up against the Bulls in Pretoria at 11:05pm. Finally, the Brumbies host the Jaguares in Canberra on Sunday afternoon at 4:05pm.

Click here for full list of Round Ten Super Rugby fixtures.

Finally, it’s the inaugural Super W Grand Final this weekend as well, with NSW taking on Queensland at Allianz Stadium, and that's where we'll focus our articles this week.

1. Grace looking for icing on the cake

Out of the 28 players who represented the Wallaroos at the 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup in Ireland, seventeen have featured in the inaugural Super W competition including NSW superstar Grace Hamilton.

Grace hails from Panuara, about half way between Cowra and Bathurst, and she spoke to local media in the Central West about how much the new competition means to her.

“It (Super W) is a massive step forward. Being part of the inaugural year is something I think we’ll all treasure forever and winning would just make it better, it’d be the icing on the cake,” she said.

“Not just for us girls though. It’d just be the best, for our full squad too, our families, our supporters and for NSW Rugby in general.

“I have a job to do and a role to play in this team and if I can execute that to the best of my ability, I’m happy. I wear my heart on my sleeve on the field, and anything I can do to help my team I will.”

Click here to read the full interview with Matt Findlay.

2. Cheynne helping to develop the next generation

Super W players are amateur at this early stage of the competition's existence, and that means that most of them juggle their work commitments outside of Rugby. In the case of Queensland star Cheyenne Campbell, that actually allows her to continue to develop the next crop of youngsters coming through.

She has a full-time job teaching at Shailer Park State High School, where Rugby is now gaining some attention as a sporting option.

While the school features Futsal and Volleyball academies, Campbell is pleased there is a growing interest among the female students in Rugby, due largely to her emergence as a role model for them, with strong interest in starting a girl’s Rugby team.

“We’ve got a few girls that are interested,” she told Rugby.com.au's Jill Scanlon. “They’re really eager and now there’s a clear pathway for them it’s becoming a lot more common, which is awesome. It’s really cool to know they’re talking about it and watching and they’re aware that girls play and women play.”

She also sees the bright future in Rugby for her young step-daughter.

“I think if she wants to play Rugby when she’s older, we’ll support that one hundred percent because I think there’s no doubt it’s going to take off and be better and I think the more people that get involved and the more exposure we get, people are going to realise women can play and then support them.”

Click here to read the full interview.

3. Lockhart goes from logistics to lineouts!

Cheyenne's Queensland teammate Lucy Lockhart is another who has been telling the interesting story of what she does to earn a living.

As she explained to Lizza Gebilagin in Women's Health, before earning her spot in this year’s inaugural Super W season, the Australian Army Corporal was based in Dubai for four months, acting as a middle point between the Australian Army and task groups in Afghanistan and other areas in the Middle East.

“We were the connection between Australia and Afghanistan, or whatever operation we were on at that stage. We’d be transporting all the stores and equipment from Australia to the country,” she says.

 “I didn’t get the chance to go into the war zone, but I was part of the bigger picture with regards to logistics. It was very intense. We were working around 16 hours a day, seven days a week for the four months. It was a very busy schedule. We didn’t have much downtime but it was a great experience.

"The army has shown me to lead by example and that transfers onto the rugby field.”

Click here to read the full interview.

4. Trans-tasman expansion?

When it comes to Women's Rugby in Australia, Ash Hewson has seen it all! And now, after the first season of Super W, she thinks it's time to consider expansion to include our rivals across the ditch, as she told Georgina Robinson in the Sydney Morning Herald.

"To make the competition a little bit longer, maybe playing each [Australian team] twice and then in the future, which I think would be really great and beneficial to the growth of women’s rugby and the Wallaroos, would be to incorporate the New Zealand teams," Hewson said.

"To be able to play 80 minutes of football against that calibre of team would definitely improve our game and improve our chances of developing a stronger Wallaroos squad."

Click here to read the full interview, which also includes comments from Rugby Australia's Ben Whitaker, Wallaroos Head Coach Dwayne Nestor and former Australian dual international Tui Ormsby.

5. Treherne talks up the rivlary

The inaugural grand final of rugby’s Super W competition has the spice everyone loves to see in a traditional interstate clash from any sport with cross-border passions boiling. The misfiring Reds tumbled 18-0 to NSW when the teams met in the opening round on March 10 and they have been driven to avenge that defeat ever since, as Samantha Treherne told the Courier Mail's Jim Tucker.

“NSW do act like they can come out and win every time,” Reds fullback Treherne said. “We’re not going to let the mental game get on top of us because we’ll be meeting their fire with more of our own.”

Wallabies great Chris Latham has twice turned up to women’s training which has been a special kick for a fullback like Treherne.

“For all the girls, to have someone like Chris Latham, who we watched growing up, take that interest has given us huge faith in the mark we are making with SuperW,” Treherne said.

Click here to read the full interview.

And now, for an exclusive tip from our friends at Taylors Wines, and this week we’re teaching you about Sauvignon Blanc...

If one grape variety sums up modern wine drinking, its Sauvignon Blanc!

In just three decades it has gone from being a peculiarity of the Loire valley in France to world domination. It's a phenomenon that can be explained by improved wine-making technology and modern drinking habits.

Find out more about wine on the Taylors Wines website.

Photos supplied by NSW Waratahs/Karen Watson and Queensland Reds/Brendan Hertel.

Pete Fairbairn
Communications Manager
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