Sydney has won a hat-trick of women’s nationals titles, beating ACT in the final 34-0 on Sunday.
It was the second year running that the Sydneysiders edged out their southern rivals, going through the competition undefeated.
Sydney had the opening points of the match with a try to tighthead Evelyn Horomia, before two penalties from skipper and flyhalf Ash Hewson stretched that margin to 13 points at half-time.
It was the back end where they really found their groove in the title decider, with Victoria Latu, Chloe Leupape and Hewson all crossing on their way to a big win.
Skipper and flyhalf Hewson led the way for Sydney throughout the tournament, with only WA managing to nab points against the heavyweight title holders.
Hewson paid tribute to the next generation in her team, after the victory.
“It just shows what depth we’ve got at Sydney and we’ve probably got the best competition in the country and we showed today we are the best team in Australia,” she said.
“We did show resolve.. Everyone wants to knock us off our perch after coming first the last two years but we stayed composed and it’s a testament to our girls.
Hewson said the competition had lifted another level in 2017, ahead of the biggest Test calendar in recent history, leading into the Women’s World Cup.
“I think it’s just the best preparation we’ve had for a World Cup,” she said.
“Even this tournament, it’s stepped up another notch.
“There’s been a bit of a gap between our national competition and international matches but the last few years because of nationals and the development of young girls, it’s the best preparation we can hope for.”
Queensland finished third with a 27-13 win over WA earlier in the day, with five penalties from Fenella Hake sealing that victory for the hosts.
NSW Country and the ADFRU scored a try apiece in the fifth-place playoff, but a penalty from flyhalf Nicole Hall sealed a win for the defence force.
The South Australia Barbarians took out the seventh-place playoff in a tight 17-12 win over Victoria, despite a double from Rebels no. 8 Ashley Marsters.
Standouts from the competition will be selected for the Wallaroos squad to take on England, New Zealand and Canada in June, before August’s World Cup in Ireland.