Women lose to York in semi-final
- Match Report as Wigan Warriors Women were beaten in the play-off semi-final by York Valkyrie at the LNER Community Stadium.
- York Valkyrie scored four unanswered tries to confirm their place in the Grand Final after Grace Banks had put the Warriors ahead.
- FT | York Valkyrie 22-6 Wigan Warriors Women.
Wigan Warriors Women were beaten 22-6 by York Valkyrie in a hard-fought play-off semi-final clash at the LNER Community Stadium.
Despite a determined effort from the Warriors, who went ahead after two minutes through Grace Banks’ fantastic solo try, the League Leaders’ winners advanced to the Grand Final.
The Warriors were forced into defending their own try line inside the first minute after conceding a goal line drop out from kick off, however, the Cherry and Whites opened the scoring when Banks intercepted a pass before sprinting 90m to score under the posts. Fellow teenager Beri Salihi converted the kick to give Wigan a 6-0 lead after two minutes.
The impressive start continued from the Warriors, and after back-to-back penalties were awarded in their favour, the lead was almost extended with 15 minutes on the clock, however, Eva Hunter was denied just short of the line after a powerful carry.
Valkyrie responded mid-way through the half when Liv Whitehead went over in the corner moments after Hunter excellently denied Sinead Peach through the middle. The kick was unsuccessful which kept the Warriors ahead.
Mary Coleman recovered in time to halt Savannah Andrade’s powerful burst through the middle, however, York took advantage of an overlap on the left as Liv Gale went through unopposed to score. The conversion was successful this time to put Valkyrie 10-6 ahead with 25 minutes played.
The hosts capitalised on a Warriors knock on 20m out to add a third try just before the break when play was worked wide to Tara Jane Stanley who powered through to ground. The fullback was unable to add the extras as the score remained 14-6 at the interval.
The intense battle continued at the LNER Community Stadium after the restart as York looked to increase their lead, however, an excellent piece of defending from Molly Jones forced Whitehead into touch as she attempted to break free on the wing.
Despite Stanley adding two points to Valkyrie’s total shortly before the hour, it was the Warriors who almost scored the first try of the second half through Lucy Johnstone with 70 minutes on the clock.
After Victoria Molyneux fantastically broke through the line to take the Warriors 40m out, the hosts were penalised twice in quick succession for high tackles which resulted in Andrade being shown a yellow card. The Cherry and Whites went close to crossing through the middle but Johnson was held up.
The hosts turned defence into attack to confirm their place in the Grand Final when Lacey Owen crashed over from close range with six minutes remaining. Stanley was successful with the kick as York saw out the closing stages to win 22-6.
York Valkyrie: Tara Jane Stanley, Emma Kershaw, Tamzin Renouf, Carrie Roberts, Liv Whitehead, Sade Rihari, Olivia Gale, Elisa Akpa, Sinead Peach, Aimee Staveley, Savannah Andrade, Lacey Owen, Liv Wood.
Interchange: Jas Bell, Rhiannion Marshall, Ashleigh Hyde, Jess Sharp.
18th Player: Daisy Sanderson.
Tries: Whitehead (22′), Gale (24′), Stanley (36′), Owen (74′).
Goals: Stanley (3/5).
Sin-bin: Andrade (69′).
Wigan Warriors Women: Beri Salihi, Cailey Miller, Anna Davies, Molly Jones, Kaitlin Hilton, Grace Banks, Sinead Doria, Holly Speakman, Carys Marsh, Mary Coleman, Eva Hunter, Victoria Molyneux, Rachel Thompson.
Interchange: Sarah Bardsley, Cerys Jones, Lucy Johnson, Bethany Hayes.
18th Player: Jodie Morris.
Tries: Banks (2′).
Goals: Salihi (1/1).
Referee: Elliot Burrow.