Pomare unfazed by long journey as Force head for semi-final in Fiji

Wed, Apr 17, 2024, 9:05 AM
BS
by Ben Somerford
The Super W team is heading to Fiji to take on the reigning champions for the 2024 Super W Semi-Finals, and Captain Trilleen Pomare says this game against the Fijian Drua is do or die.

Western Force captain Trilleen Pomare says she isn’t getting caught up worrying about the team’s long journey to Fiji ahead of Friday’s Buildcorp Super Rugby Women’s semi-final against the Fijian Drua.

The Force traveled to Fiji three weeks ago for their Round 3 loss to the Drua and returned to the Pacific Island nation on Wednesday ahead of Friday’s Club-first Super W semi-final.

While the Force made the long journey from Perth to Sydney to Nadi three weeks ago, they opted to stay in Canberra and train at the AIS after Saturday’s 38-36 win over the ACT Brumbies, given the six-day turnaround.

The Force squad made a three-hour bus trip from Canberra to Sydney on Wednesday, before a four-hour flight to Nadi on Fiji’s west coast, followed by another three-hour bus trip to Suva in the south-east.

“It is what it is, we get caught up too much in how many hours and what it’ll take out of our bodies,” Pomare told ABC Perth’s Extra-Time radio show on Tuesday night ahead of the travel day.

“Mentally we’ve got to be prepared for it. We probably had an even harder trek in our round game when we went over there from Perth.

“Knowing we’ve cut one flight out is massive for us, coming from the west coast. We’re pretty stoked to be honest with that.”

Pomare’s positive attitude highlights her leadership within the group, with the captain named to make her return after missing the Round 5 win over the Brumbies.

The Wallaroo was part of the Force side that lost in Fiji to the Drua over the Easter weekend when they were met with torrential conditions with driving rain on a muddy, sodden pitch in Lautoka.

Friday’s semi-final will be played at HFC Bank Stadium in Suva, with rain forecast but the pitch expected to be better, although Pomare wasn’t fazed either way, insisting the team needed to heed the lessons from their last meeting.

“We’re playing in Suva this time around. I’m told the facilities and fields there are a bit better,” she said.

“But a semi-final is do or die, so whatever conditions are thrown at us, we need to be able to adapt.

“Last time we didn’t take our opportunities. It’s a bit of a redemption round for us.”

Pomare has been an ever-present for the Force in Super W history, playing every single game in Club history until last week’s absence.

The foundation Force member has been part of several near-misses before, so she was thrilled to finally be part of the side’s first-ever semi-finals campaign

“It’s a huge honour to be honest,” she said. “It’s been a long time coming.

“I’ve been in the system and program for 10 years now. It’s our first crack at a semi. It means a lot to be someone who’s been here at the start of the program.

“We’ve always come close. I’m just hugely proud and hugely grateful. We’ve got so much talent, we always have in the west. It’s cool now we have a platform.”

Kick-off on Friday is 12:35pm WST. The game will be streamed live on Stan Sport with regular updates @WesternForce on social media.

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