The Super 5s whetted the appetite for the most competitive season yet of regional rugby for Wales Women, laying foundations for progress in autumn internationals.
Before the revamped Women’s Regional Championship kicks off this weekend, a clutch of high-paced, shortened games between the five regions at St Helen’s on Sunday set the scene.
On the back of an intense, seven-week summer conditioning programme, momentum is clearly building in the Wales set-up ahead of their autumn assignments.
The ultimate goal for head coach Rowland Phillips is, of course, to build and improve on his side’s opening round win over Scotland in the 2018 Women’s Six Nations Championship.
Sunday’s first game was a battle of the top two in last year’s Regional Championship, as reigning champions Ospreys beat runners-up Cardiff Blues 27-5 in a competitive clash.
But the Blues would bite back with a 17-0 victory over Dragons, a 10-0 defeat of RGC 1404 and also dispatched Scarlets 19-10 to end the day with three wins from four outings.
Ospreys would emerge with two victories and two defeats, suggesting they will embark on a title defence on the backdrop of a highly competitive division.
Dragons, who counted Wales international fly-half India Berbillion among their ranks, defended stoically but a 10-0 opening loss to Scarlets set them off on shaky footing.
With Phillips recently underlining the upcoming Regional Championship as an audition for the autumn and the 2019 Women’s Six Nations, stakes couldn’t be much higher.
In the opening round of action at Pontypridd RFC on Sunday, the Blues get their campaign underway against last season’s bottom side Dragons from 12:30.
The second half of the double-header at 14:30 should see an closely-fought contest between RGC and Scarlets, the two sides both ending on 10 points in the 2017 Championship.
With the new, condensed format of the competition into a six-week shootout, Phillips and his team will have the perfect chance to examine selection contenders in high-pressure situations.