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Opinion

Why you should watch the Super W

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Roar Pro
3rd March, 2022
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Sure, the women’s Super W competition does not get much recognition or have a profile.

Sure, the A-League Women, AFLW and NRLW are all bigger, further developed and better supported.

Sure, the Super W women don’t get paid.

Sure, women’s rugby union does not have its own Twitter handle.

Sure, a lot of rugby fans have not got around women’s rugby.

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Sure, the Super Rugby Pacific and Six Nations is on.

But apart from that, I would still say give it a crack and check it out.

Join experts Brett McKay and Harry Jones and special guest Jamie Wall as they look at Super Rugby week 2, that debut by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and tip what four teams will miss the finals this year.

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Super W is an opportunity to see rugby where the players just thoroughly and genuinely enjoy playing rugby.

Apart from watching it on Stan, there are a number of double headers with the men’s Super Rugby Pacific, so get there early and get two matches.

Or get there a bit later and watch the second half of the women’s game.

This Friday, there is the Force and Reds at Perth’s HBF Park and then on Saturday at GIO Stadium there is the Tahs versus Brumbies double header.

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This competition will be a good watch as players will be desperately wanting to put forward their name for Wallaroos selection and the World Cup later in the year.

The Wallaroos

(Photo by Dave Rowland/Getty Images)

But if you’re looking for the slightest reason to watch it on Stan Sport, a reminder that Sera Naiqama – who is on the Stan Sport team – plays lock for the Waratahs.

While watching, keep an eye on her lock partner Kaitlan Leaney, who impressed last season as a newbie for the Tahs.

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Now, will the teams all be pretty equal and competitive? Honestly, I have no idea.

The expectation looking at the rosters, is that the Waratahs will be favourites. The semi surprise packs will be the newly introduced Fijiana Drua. They played a trial the other week against the Reds and won.

What is most disappointing is that I probably know and recognise more of the names in the NRLW teams than in Super W.

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There are so many former rugby sevens players throughout the teams. As a consequence I watched the St George Illawarra and Titans game on the weekend as it had Emma Tonegato, Vani Pelite and Page McGregor playing.

This is a reflection of the minimal coverage provided by Rugby AU and the states to women’s sevens and 15 rugby.

Which is odd when you consider the promotion and investment by the other sporting codes. But let’s leave that well alone at this time. Even the Fijiana Drua have their own Twitter and Instagram accounts.

So what is disappointing is that I really cannot provide much of a look-out for certain players.

I have heard a couple of the coaches being interviewed over the last year and they were very impressive. The Tahs’ coach Campbell Aitken (The Positive Rugby Podcast) and Rebels coach Alana Thomas (The Great Coaches: Leadership and Life) are both worth a listen.

Melanie Kawa (captain) of the Rebels celebrates her try with Kelera Ratu of the Rebels, Kirsty Matapa of the Rebels, Tiarah Minns of the Rebels and Jade Te Aute of the Rebels

(Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

On the player front, the Waratahs are chock full of names and experience. Some names to keep an eye on include captain Grace Hamilton and the rest of the back row: youngster Piper Duck and Emily Chancellor.

You also have former sevens platers Mahlia Murphy and Georgina Friedrichs. I have to admit to being a long-time Murphy fan.

The Brumbies have got some real stalwarts such as Louise Burrows and this season they have former Waratahs captain Ash Hewson coming back and having a run.

I would expect a few Sydney-based players in the Brumbies squad, just like the original men’s Brumbies squad back in the day.

With the Reds, word has it that youngsters Malaela Sua and Skyla Adams are pretty special so I will be interested to see how they go.

Harry Jones and Brett McKay are joined by NZ writer Jamie Wall to look at the crisis engulfing the All Blacks in the latest Roar Rugby Podcast. Stream it here or in your app of choice

The Reds have former sevens captain Shannon Parry this season and a couple of experienced campaigners Sarah Riordan, Ivania Wong and Liz Patu. Also in the squad is Annabelle Codey, the daughter of former Wallaby David Codey.

With the Rebels, if you want to see passion and feisty-ness personified, keep an eye out for captain Mel Kawa. Last season she split her head open, there was plenty of claret, and she went off and got taped up, put head gear on and she was back in there.

As for the Force, I cannot tell you much about them except I recognise a couple of Wallaroos names Rebecca Clough and Trilleen Pomare.

So rugby fans, give the women a bit of support. I am pretty sure if Rugby AU had the funds and resources they would be supporting them with actual investment.

They appear unable to do that at the moment, so rugby fans need to get on board until the investment arrives.

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