VINCENTIA'S Ash Hewson and her NSW Waratahs claimed back-to-back Super W premierships on Sunday, after they defeated the Queensland Reds 8-5 at Leichhardt Oval.
After going undefeated in the inaugural Super W season, Hewson and her side undertook a longer pre-season, starting in November, to prepare themselves to defend their crown.
"Heading into season two, everyone was out to beat us but I think as a group we dealt with those pressures really well," Hewson said.
"We have a really positive attitude within the group, which helps keep us composed out on the field - everyone was prepared to get up off the ground for one another and do what's best for the team."
The former Vincentia High School student and her side opened their 2019 campaign with a 26-nil win against the ACT Brumbies - a side which contained Bomaderry's Harriet Elleman.
"It wasn't an easy game by any stretch of the imagination, as we had to work hard for all 26 of those points," she said.
"We weren't entirely happy with how we played but that's because we have such high standards of ourselves - I think that's the main reason we have been so successful.
"The Brumbies win really set us up nicely and set the tone for the season."
In terms of her encounter with Elleman, Hewson is stoked there's more rural players getting opportunities to showcase their skills on the big stage.
"It's great to see players from regional areas, such as myself, finally get opportunities like this," she said.
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"It's something I didn't have growing up and I unfortunately had to leave the Shoalhaven to pursue my own personal dreams of playing for my country.
"It really is a testament to how fast all these women's sports are growing on a national stage."
"Obviously our biggest goal for the season was to go back-to-back, which is difficult to achieve in any sport, and we knew how important getting that minor premiership was to achieving that," she said.
After the Reds defeated Elleman''s Brumbies in the semi-final 39-10, it set up yet another bruising clash for the Waratahs with their northern rivals.
"Going into the match, we knew we needed to keep our composure because we knew they'd put us under a lot of pressure," she said.
"But despite a little 'niggle' out there between us, we managed to play the game down their end and kept the pressure on them.
"Looking back on it, we probably left a lot of points out there on the field, as we spent large parts of the contest in their 22 but to the Reds' credit, their defence was amazing.
"To only allow us one try despite all that possession was an amazing effort by the Reds - at times we could have gotten frustrated with the lack of points but we stuck together as a team and got the desired result.
"At the end of the day, that's camaraderie and that's what we are all about . I think that's the reason we have now gone undefeated for back-to-back season."
While admitting it was a "huge relief" when the final whistle sounded, Hewson said this title was different to the first one.
"The first one was obviously very special, with it being the inaugural year and in terms of how tough the final was," she said.
"This one is obviously great, as we achieved our goal as a team but I still think the first one is probably more special to me.
"It really shows we are building a great culture within NSW Rugby and I just hope the future generations continue to build on that for years to come."
In her career, Hewson has numerous accolades to her name, including 21 caps for the Wallaroos, but she still thinks captaining this side is right up there.
"Anytime you get to captain a team is an amazing thing," Hewson said.
"I'm lucky to be leading an incredible group of women, who have sacrificed so much and worked so hard to get to where we are today - it's something that will stick with me forever.
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"Obviously it was very special every time I put the Wallaroos' jersey on but to play with this group, who I count as some of my best mates, and share these memories with them, is the reason why I play and love this great sport of rugby."
While the 39-year-old isn't ready to hang up the boots just yet, she knows that the "next generation" of stars is knocking on the door.
"There's a lot of really talented youth coming through the ranks and they are pushing me for my position in the team, which is so great to see," she said.
"I want to help those girls out the best I can and know that the sport is in good hands moving forward."