Fortescue Women's Premier Grade - Women in Rugby Round Preview

Fri, Jun 28, 2024, 4:00 AM
by RugbyWA Media

Fortescue Women in Rugby Round kicks off this Saturday, with all Senior Women and Junior Girls teams heading to Tompkins Park. 

Under 15 Girls will be heading into their eighth round on Saturday, whilst both the Fortescue Women’s Premier Grade and Community X’s reach their seventh. 

With some future superstar women’s players in the making, the Under 15s competition moves from their traditional Friday night game to Saturday mornings for this round, hosting the ten teams at Tompkins Park. The future of rugby, the involvement of the Junior Girls in the Women in Rugby Round sees every girl in rugby having the opportunity to be acknowledged and celebrated, and to see the incredible community offered by the sport. 


For event hosts, Palmyra, the Fortescue Women in Rugby Round offers a crucial opportunity to highlight women in rugby. 

“Women's rugby has grown tremendously, and the athletes deserve recognition and support,” Palmyra’s Fortescue Women’s Premier Grade Head Coach, Tony Berson, shared. 

“Showcasing their skills and dedication helps inspire the next generation and builds a stronger, more inclusive sport.” 

And with women and junior girls from all age groups and all skill levels heading down to the club for the day, the inclusivity of rugby and the women’s community is set to be showcased for all involved.  

“The carnival format over all grades brings an energy that is something special,” Berson said. 

“I'm really looking forward to seeing the community come together to support and celebrate women in rugby.” 


Heading into their seventh round, the Palmyra Fortescue Women’s Premier Grade side is feeling good, as they emerge from a 12-37 win over the Cottesloe Shegulls.  

“The team is feeling good but knows there's work to do. We had some strong plays and good moments, but we also saw areas that need tightening up.” 

“Overall, the spirit's high and everyone's eager to improve,” Berson said. 

In their win over Cottesloe, tries for Palmyra were scored by Penny Laufmann (12’), Vesinia Schaaf-Taufa (19’), Kendra Fell (33’), Megan Prinsloo (38’), Ocean Tuhua (49’), Phoenix Mahaki (63’) and one other. Kendra Fell also scored a conversion for the side (12’). From Cottesloe, Sofia Bekir Fuente and Angelica Carr scored their two tries, and Jessica Foster a conversion. 

Palmyra are set to face top-of-the-ladder Wanneroo Divaz this Saturday for the first time this season. A formidable force, Palmyra knows it will be a challenge.  

“Facing the Wanneroo Divas is a big challenge—they're the top team for a reason,” Berson commented. 

“They play a tough, smart game. Our biggest challenges will be maintaining our discipline, managing the game pace, and executing our set plays under pressure.” 

Heading into the big round, surrounded by the women’s rugby community on their home grounds, Berson says their team is strong and ready to tackle whatever is thrown their way. 

“This is a big game, and every player needs to bring their best. I’m looking for sharp execution on our strategies and for everyone to step up, especially in high-pressure moments.” 

“Our teamwork and communication are our biggest strengths. We've got a solid defense, and our backline combinations are starting to click.” 

“When we play to our plan, we can handle whatever comes at us.” 


For the Wanneroo Divaz, their success so far in the 2024 season has provided the opportunity to consistently grow in confidence and skill. With five other teams in the Fortescue Premier Grade, they are learning from each game. 

“As the weeks go by, the team is finding more confidence in our set plays and structure,” Wanneroo’s Captain, Sofaia Talemaira, said.  

“Coming from last week’s game, we know where our strengths and weaknesses lie and therefore are working to fill those gaps while also expanding on what we do best.” 

 In their second game against Cottesloe Shegulls for the 2024 season, Wanneroo saw a 53-10 victory at home. 

“We played Cottesloe twice and it was a good learning curb, as we had goals to hit for the second time around, such and identifying our pods, defense line and such. We are getting there.” 

Tries for Wanneroo in this match were scored by Zion Taurima, Aneeka Stephens, Topaz-Jean Porter, Cass Kaisia, Ngamihi Monk, Tamika Jones (2), Shiane Kani and Sailah-Jaycee Morris-Viti. Four conversions for the side were completed by Lucy Lockhart. For Cottesloe, tries were scored by Angelica Carr and Numi Tupaea. 

Women in Rugby Round marks the first time the club comes against Palmyra for the season, something which Talemaira says will be one of their biggest challenges. 

“Coming up against teams like Kalamunda and Cottesloe we now know what to expect, but with not having played Palmyra before, we don’t know much about how they play.” 

“We know they have a strong team this year and they will definitely be a challenge, which makes us excited to play against them this weekend.” 

Heading into the next round, the team is feeling prepared for their next challenge. 

“Having a structure that complements our team’s playing style is definitely one of them,” Talemaira commented, when asked about the team’s strengths moving forward.  

“We love playing eyes up rugby so having that structure to create holes and then being able to play off that and finish at the try line works wonders for us.” 

“Playing the structure that coaches have given us, helps us get mismatches which we can then play off with our support play being a strength as well.” 

From her team, Talemaira is hoping to see communication and focus as they come up against Palmyra. 

“I hope to see a lot of communication this game, as this helps us to also get in our structure earlier. Sometimes we tend to steer away from our structure and get white line fever, which coming up against teams like Kalamunda and Palmyra, won’t get us anywhere.” 

“So just sticking to our structure and then using our strengths to our advantage would be amazing to see this round.” 


With a day of celebration of women within the rugby community ahead of them, in addition to their big game, Talemaira believes such opportunities as the Fortescue Women in Rugby Round helps to further develop women’s rugby. 

“Women are playing some amazing rugby at the moment, and the game is only getting better for us. It can only get better through support and having options for our young girls as well in terms of our pathway,” she said. 

“At Wanneroo for example, having girls club teams and two women’s teams helps us to transition our young girls while also showing them there is a pathway after.” 

“More and more ladies are getting interested and the game is growing, I think it’s important to highlight this as in return we get more support and can do what we love doing, which is playing rugby.” 

The day is also an opportunity to reflect on how the game has grown and continues to grow within Western Australia for women. 

“I am looking forward to the acknowledgment of women’s rugby. We got 6 teams this year, which is awesome. We got players old, young and new. Women’s rugby is constantly evolving and improving in terms of our pathway and professionalism.” 

“Having a state wanting to help our women’s rugby grow and also supporting us means a lot, it’s shows we are heading in the right direction.” 


The Fortescue Women in Rugby Round is set to kick off from 11AM at Tompkins Park, with Senior and Junior Women’s teams taking to the field. Palmyra v. Wanneroo will be streamed live on Rugby Xplorer from 3:30PM. 


Fortescue Women in Rugby Round at Tompkins Park - Fixtures 

Field 1 

UNDER 15s: Wanneroo v. North Coast @ 11:00AM 

UNDER 15s: Wanneroo v. Flyers @ 11:30AM 

UNDER 15s: Palmyra/Arks v. North Coast @ 12:00PM 

FORTESCUE PREMIER GRADE: UWA v. Kalamunda Kweenz @ 12:30PM 

FORTESCUE PREMIER GRADE: Cottesloe Shegulls v. Wests Warriors @ 2:00PM 

FORTESCUE PREMIER GRADE: Palmyra v. Wanneroo Divaz @ 3:30PM *Streamed live on Rugby Xplorer 


Field 2 

UNDER 15s: Palmyra/Arks v. Kalamunda @ 11:30AM 

UNDER 15s: Flyers v. Kalamunda @ 12:00PM 

COMMUNITY Xs: Wanneroo v. Perth Irish @ 12:30PM 

COMMUNITY Xs: Bayswater v. Rockingham @ 1:50PM 

COMMUNITY Xs: Palmyra/UWA v. Southern Lions @ 2:40PM 

COMMUNITY Xs: Mandurah v. Wests Scarborough @ 3:30PM