Women beaten in spirited Semi Final
- Match Report as Wigan Warriors Women narrowly lose to York City Knights in Play-Off Semi Final.
- Lauréane Biville scored Wigan’s only try of the game.
- FT | York City Knights Ladies 12-4 Wigan Warriors Women.
Wigan Warriors Women gave League Leaders York City Knights Ladies a huge test in a closely fought 12-4 Super League Semi Final defeat at Headingley Stadium.
The Warriors were boosted by a first inclusion of the season for Alison Burrows from injury and Lauréane Biville flying in from the World Cup training camp with France.
York started the stronger with a trio of attacks near the Wigan line but superb defence kept them out including Georgie Hetherington knocking-on inches from the line. A halt to the game on 11 minutes saw a battling tackle and Mary Coleman needing to replace a contact lens but she was soon seeing clearly as Wigan mounted an attack via Bivile’s intercept but a kick on the last saw York hold firm.
After a year out through injury, Alison Burrows made her entry to the field on 22 minutes and seemed to fit in perfectly with clever passing and strong defence. York looked to have broken the deadlock on 33 minutes as a forward pass from Tara-Jane Stanley was collected by Kelsey Gentles who touched down for a try. The video referee denied the try as the replay showed superb defence from Carys Marsh had forced her to knock-on.
The sides went into the half time interval with nothing between them on the scoreboard after the Warriors has performed superbly in the opening 40.
York wasted no time in making their mark in the second half though as they went ahead 50 seconds after the restart, Stanley picking out the run of Savannah Andrade who crossed for a try which Stanley converted for 6-0.
The lead became 8-0 on 48 minutes as a high tackle on Andrade from Vicky Molyneux saw Stanley convert with the boot. Wigan looked to be falling away on the scoreboard as just three minutes later, Gentles touched down after a clever pass from Katie Langan for 12-0.
A serious injury to Becky Greenfield just before the hour mark could have seen the Wigan fight dented but it did the opposite as they got off the mark in quirky style on 64 minutes, Burrows’ kick saw Stanley lapse in collecting while under pressure from winger Kaitlin Hilton and Biville claimed the gift to cross for a superb try, Wilson was unable to convert at 12-4.
Biville could have cut the gap further had she not been denied near the line by Kelsey Gentles on 69 minutes and the Wigan did the same in the guise of Hilton as she prevented Gentles from crossing herself in the corner a few minutes later.
The final hooter sounded to rapturous applause from the Headingley crowd for both teams as York sealed a first-ever Grand Final spot despite immense spirit and pressure from a stunning Wigan performance. The season ends for the Warriors with pride as they held the league leaders to two scores in a commendable 80-minute performance.
York City Knights: Tara-Jane Stanley, Bettie Lambert, Kelsey Gentles, Emma Kershaw, Katie Langan, Olivia Gale, Georgie Hetherington, Lacey Owen, Savannah Andrade, Hollie Dodd, Sinead Peach, Olivia Wood.
Interchanges: Olivia Whitehead, Elisa Akpa, Leila Bessahli, Matilda Butler.
Tries: Andrade (41’), Gentles (51’)
Goals: Stanley 2/3
Wigan Warriors: Georgia Wilson, Kaitlin Hilton, Anna Davies, Lauréane Biville, Becky Greenfield, Gabi Leigh, Carys Marsh, Cerys Jones, Jade Gregory-Haselden, Abbie Singleton, Mary Coleman, Vicky Molyneux, Holly Speakman.
Interchanges: Alison Burrows, Beth Hayes, Freya Hellin, Georgia Lake.
Tries: Biville (64’)
Goals: Wilson 0/1
By Simon Driscoll.