Women lose to Castleford

  • Match report as Wigan Warriors Women lose to Castleford Tigers Women at Robin Park Arena.
  • A solo try from Carys Marsh in the first half wasn’t enough for the Warriors after a second half double from the Tigers.
  • FT | Wigan Warriors Women 6-10 Castleford Tigers Women.

A solo first half try from Carys Marsh was not enough to see Wigan Warriors Women to victory after an inspired double from Castleford Tigers saw the visitors steal a win at the death at Robin Park Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Wigan captain Rachel Thompson inspired a fantastic first half score after an end-to-end half an hour, racing through a gap to send Marsh over to put Wigan ahead. The visitors went over for an unconverted score in the second half and it looked like Wigan were on their way to the two points before a dart from Georgia Roche in the final minute stole the victory in an absorbing Betfred Women’s Super League Play-Off game.


In what was Wigan Women’s first game back home at Robin Park Arena in two years, the Warriors were without Becky Greenfield at full back through illness, so new signing Stacey Greenwood started her first game at the back. Aimee Wood came in at hooker in the absence of Alison Burrows who is still unavailable through injury.

It was a scrappy start for both sides, the Warriors knocked on from the kick-off before Castleford knocked on in the first set. The second set for the Tigers against Wigan saw Vanessa Temple come up with the ball before a high shot on Vicky Molyneux allowed some field possession for the Warriors.

Castleford tested the Wigan back line as a kick on the last from Roche went high in the air, Anna Mary Davies collected with ease but was tackled in goal for the 20m restart. The resulting set saw Wigan get well up the field inspired by Thompson but a knock on from Temple just short of the whitewash saw an early opportunity come to nothing.

Wigan again had a fantastic opportunity in the 10th minute, the Warriors piling forward after a good initial break from debutant Greenwood but the ball was spilled as it went through hands and the score remained 0-0.

It was end-to-end for both sides for the next 10 minutes, the Warriors putting in some testing kicks to end their sets but not troubling Castleford and Wigan backing up well in defence as Roche pulled the strings for the visitors in the halves.

Wigan finally got the breakthrough to get the opening score of the game in the 31st minute, a great line break from Thompson saw the skipper race clear and having Marsh in support for the Wales International to finish off the move and go over for the score. The conversion was perfect from Georgia Wilson to see Wigan into the 6-0 lead.

In the dying minutes of the first half the Warriors were put under huge amounts of pressure with Castleford getting two full sets from 20 meters away from the Wigan goal line, but Kris Ratcliffe’s side stood firm to deny the Tigers a score and see Wigan into the sheds with the 6-0 lead.

The Tigers lost Shona Hoyle early in the second half with a suspected ankle injury sustained in a one-on-one tackle in which Temple came up with the ball. Almost immediately afterwards the skipper Thompson was down after a tackle and was helped from the field with a knee injury.

The Warriors handed the Tigers a full set moments later for a high shot but Sammy Watts put the ball down to relieve the pressure on the Cherry and Whites. Davies looked to be away on the left edge but the referee called the opportunity back for a forward pass.

Wigan then soaked up a sustained period of pressure but the kick on the last from Roche was collected from the sky with ease from Wilson who was caught by a high tackle in the aftermath to hand the Warriors the penalty and take them into Castleford territory. A great opportunity opened up for the home side as full back Greenwood broke through but the pass out to the wing was watched well by Castleford to deny the Warriors a second score.

Temple was inches from the goal line in the 60th minute, agonisingly close to increasing Wigan’s lead but forcing a turnover for the Tigers on their own line. The Cherry and Whites then backed up well in defence to stop Castleford from getting out of their own half. The kettle was boiling for Wigan then, Davies going close on the left before the ball was shipped right and Leah Darbyshire was held up just short of the try line.

Castleford had a great chance shortly after Roche spotting a gap before sending Waters on the left edge but Wilson wrapped up the Tigers winger to see her into touch and get the ball back in hand for Wigan. Castleford went over for their first of the afternoon as a diagonal kick from Roche saw Courtney Pursglove go over on the right edge, the conversion attempt was unsuccessful from Roche and the Warriors held the 6-4 lead with less than 10 minutes to go until full time.

Wigan had a couple of flurries towards the end of the game with Wilson coming close and Paige Costello also edging ever closer for the Warriors. It was a spell of errors for both sides with the clock ticking down, Roche threatened a late score for Castleford but her offload attempt went forward. Roche was there again though in the final minute, finding her way under the uprights to steal the win from the Warriors at the death and to condemn Wigan to an opening Play-Off defeat.

Next up for Wigan in the Betfred Women’s Super League Play-Offs is York City Knights at Robin Park Arena next Sunday, 12pm K.O.

Wigan Warriors: Stacey Greenwood, Leah Darbyshire, Emily Baggaley, Georgia Wilson, Anna Mary Davies, Rachel Thompson, Carys Marsh, Holly Speakman, Aimee Wood, Jade Gregory-Haselden, Vanessa Temple, Paige Costello, Victoria Molyneux.

Interchanges: Freya Hellin, Lucy Baggaley, Olivia Frain, Emma Dwyer.

Tries: Marsh (31’)

Goals: Wilson 1/1

Castleford Tigers: Tara Stanley, Danielle Waters, Aimee Wallace, Lacey Owen, Courtney Pursglove, Georgia Roche, Lucy Eastwood, Sammy Watts, Jasmine Cudjoe, Shona Hoyle, Hollie Mae Dodd, Hailey Swann, Jasmine Bell.

Interchanges: Sam Jordan, Evelyn Vailgalu, Libby Priestley, Amie Backhouse.

Tries: Pursglove (71’), Roche (80’)

Goals: Roche 1/2

Referee: Andrew Sweet