A vastly improved Melbourne Rebels Super W side has fallen to WA Rugby Women 10-38 following an entertaining and competitive loss to Rugby WA at AAMI Park on Friday night.
In the first of the double header Friday night fixture, the girls provided some promising highlights and strong competitiveness.
However, the WA side were more polished and overcame the Rebels thanks to two tries from both Mhicca Carter and Brooke Mason.
The opening 10 minutes of the game was the ultimate stalemate, with both sides turning the ball over multiple times and neither side able to pressure each other’s defence.
WA captain Mhicca Carter was the first to break through, using her strength and power to burst past the defensive line down the middle of the field to open the scoring.
The Rebels’ Carmen Landkauf answered shortly after in the 13th minute via a 30-yard penalty conversion straight in-front of the uprights to secure the Rebels’ first points of the 2019 season.
The excitement from the first score for Melbourne seemed to spur them on, with their defence proving to be troublesome in WA’s next couple of phases. Three fantastic tackles on the line prevented certain tries to keep the Rebels in the game.
WA refused to relinquish their attacking style however, as Zakiya Kereopa broke through the defence to run into to score her first try out of the set piece, the beneficiary of a slick pass from Trilleen Pomare.
The girls from the west continued to apply pressure following their breakthrough, as Ariana Hira-Herengiu bustled her way through multiple defenders for a try through the middle of the field, extending their lead to 17-3.
The Rebels refused to go into their shell however, as they pressed hard with ball in hand, finding their way inside their 22 before losing the ball in touch.
Mhicca Carter made them pay after a kick and chase allowed her to score her second try of the night in the 31st minute.
As half-time approached the Rebels refused to go down easily. Brooke Mason broke the mould however, as she crashed through multiple defenders to score her first try, taking WA’s lead to 31-3, where it stood until half-time.
Like the first 40 minutes, the second-half was a back and forth encounter, with neither side scoring in the first 25 minutes.
Both sides produced some promising phases, but both defences were proving strong.
Rebels hooker Ashley Marsters was becoming a handful, as she continued to make some promising runs, breaking through the WA defensive line on multiple occasions.
Following a thirty-minute rollercoaster to start the half, and multiple near misses at the line for the two sides, Rebels captain Sharlene Fagalilo finally broke the Melbourne drought, scoring the first try for the season in the 70th minute from a well worked pick and go.
The try was reward for an improved scrum which helped the Rebels gain the ascendency up-front.
However, WA kicked into gear, as they answered in the 73rd minute through Brooke Mason’s second try, finishing off a strong performance from the West Australians.