Womens XV through to Grand Final

14 Oct 2020

It was sad to see 4s, 1s and our 10s side walk away without a win on the weekend but our pride in the Owls is overflowing! In what has been the most irregular year/season, we haven’t let that stop us over here in Owls country and we’re so proud of the performance by all sides on the weekend and throughout the entire comp and you all should be too.
For our XVs side! They say that rugby union is the game they play in heaven and ANU North Oval was certainly our heaven on Saturday. Finals footy time usually calls for a trip down to Viking Park and so our XVs Women were more than happy to run out our semi-final against the Goulburn Dirty Reds on the beloved fields of the Barn. The sun was shining, the pre-game dance moves were out (although some should have stayed in), and the women were ready to book their ticket to the big dance.
Despite the pristine conditions it was a rocky start for our girls as we found ourselves in an arm wrestle for possession for much of the first 10 mins. We knew what we needed to do but a mix of handling errors and penalties from both sides meant the ball didn’t cross the chalk until Crystal Papalii took on what always seems like most of their forward pack like she always does and opened up the scoreboard in the 12th minute. Crystal might be the ‘Baby Paps’ but James Erwin will tell you that she taught older brother Josh everything he knows, and she must’ve taught Rosaline Aumale as well as we saw her power over the line later in the game with a few poor Goulburn defenders trying to hold on to her in vain.
Talei Wilson slotted back into the centres this week and wasted no time hitting the gaps that nobody else could see and putting on the dancing shoes as she crossed the line for two of her own tries. Talei is known for making the opposition dizzy with her stunning speed but it is her defensive skills that her teammates are most envious of as she is often found rolling away from crunching tackles that look like they throw the weight of her forward pack. Unsurprisingly, Talei earnt herself 2 points for the day.
Not that I’m biased or anything, but the forwards were on fire against the Dirty Reds forward pack and this was shining through our fresh second rower Rommy Galvin. Rommy got the word from Coach Greg
that she would be making the switch from back row to second row (a call up if you ask me) and Rommy must’ve misinterpreted this and decided to do it all. She made chopping hits like she was a front rower, sped through the line like her wingers, and charged the ball over the gain line with the aggression we all need. 1 point went to Rommy and was so well deserved.
We were well in front moving into the second half but we weren’t about to let our foot off the gas and showed this through the blinding speed and power of Dana-Louise Deklin . Dana treated herself to another meat pie this season after a beautiful offload from Bridgette Cunningham that set her up in the corner. Despite her small stature, Dana fancies herself as the modern day Jonah Lomu and the evidence is surely there to prove it.
Our last two tries for the day came in similar fashion from Sammie Wood and Tania Afamasaga. Woody slotted 3 difficult conversions in windy conditions but wasn’t stopping there as she ran over the grass for her own try off of some beautiful ball movement from her fellow backs.
Photographic evidence will show that Afamasaga used her try time to bully the Goulburn fullback and put on the big don’t argue to go chest to grass over the try line, but the Goulburn 15 may have had the last laugh as she didn’t seem to be able to pull up her chase fast enough and caught Tania’s right hand under the studs of her boot. Ouch.
O Captain! My Captain! 3 points for the day went to Jane Garraway and it wasn’t hard to see why. Although we had been down this finals road before we needed the clear and smart commands that Jane gave to keep our heads level and the fire in our bellies. Jane was dangerous off the ruck all day, making scoots and delivering bullet passes that made it obvious as to why she had picked up a Super W Brumbies award just a few days earlier. Just like we have all season, we will be looking to Jane in the big dance as she is one of the few leaders where we do as she says AND as she does.
As a squad we are so excited to have earned the chance to bring the silverware home for the second year in a row and we hope you will all be cheering us on either in spirit or at Viking Park!