Warriors Women win in pre-season

  • Match Report as Wigan Warriors Women recorded a convincing 46-6 win against Featherstone Rovers Women in pre-season.
  • New recruit Ellise Derbyshire scored a hat-trick as Wigan ran in nine tries.
  • FT | Wigan Warriors Women 46-6 Featherstone Rovers Women.

Wigan Warriors Women started their 2024 pre-season with a convincing win over Featherstone Rovers Women on Sunday afternoon.

Wigan Warriors Women hosted newly promoted Featherstone Rovers Women at Sutton Park, home of Leigh Miners Rangers Academy on Sunday. Denis Betts took charge for the first time as the Warriors ran out impressive winners 46-6.


Wigan displayed their intent right from the kick off, rolling their way upfield on the very first set. A high kick on the last tackle caused all kinds of panic in the Rovers defence. The ball bounced towards the left wing where Ellise Derbyshire pounced to finish. Emma Knowles’ first conversion attempt bounced off the post as Wigan led 4-0.

Featherstone responded with some pressure of their own once they got the ball in hand and seven minutes in, the Warriors stood firm, holding Rovers up over the line on the first of several occasions during the game.

Sixteen minutes in and the Warriors struck again. Left centre Molly Jones showed glimpses of her ability with a 60 metre run deep into Featherstone territory. Despite being hauled down close to the line, quick thinking from Wigan sent impressive second rower Eva Hunter in for the second try. Emma Knowles made no mistake this time, converting to give the Warriors a 10-0 advantage.

Featherstone once again regained their composure and applied some pressure. Some desperate goal line defence despite a repeat set, kept the Warriors line intact. With the half hour mark approaching, Eva Hunter made a break right through the heart of the defence. Scrambling to get back, Featherstone conceded a repeat set. Quick hands saw winger Emma Welsford scoot over in the corner. Knowles was unable to convert from a difficult angle.

Wigan started turning the screw both in attack and defence and forced a Featherstone knock-on in their own 20 metres. From the resulting set, substitute Lucy Johnson powered over to make the score 18-0 but the conversion was missed.

With Half-time approaching, the Warriors had time for another try. Flying winger Ellise Derbyshire broke down the left hand side from half way and with Featherstone tracking back she coolly stepped inside to evade the cover and finish underneath the posts. Emma Knowles converted to send Wigan in 24-0 up at the break.

The second half saw both sides guilty of incorrectly playing the ball in the early stages. The teams traded sets without much success before Emma Welsford lit the game up. Breaking down the right, the Academy product found lively full back Grace Banks in support and switching the play to the left, Molly Jones finished off clinically. Stand off Isabel Rowe took over kicking duties and dispatched her first attempt from the touchline to make the score 30-0 to the Warriors.

Five minutes later, Molly Jones made an incisive break from the halfway line. Rovers couldn’t get near the Wigan number 4 and she cut inside the fullback for her second of the game. Rowe casually knocked over her second conversion to give the Warriors an unassailable 36-0 lead.

With the hour mark approaching Featherstone finally got some reward for their endeavours. After an incorrect play the ball from the Warriors deep in their own half, Rovers pounced with prop forward Brogan Churm powering through the Wigan defence. Tally Bryer converted to make the score 36 – 6.

Wigan still had time for a flourish before the end of the game. Firstly, substitute Ellie Costello, returning from a long term injury, managed to weave her way in at the corner after some more great work from Ellise Derbyshire. Jodie Morris became the Warriors third kicker of the day, but was unable to convert.

The final word came from Ellise Derbyshire, the winger darted through the heart of the Rovers defence to seal her hat-trick try. Morris duly converted to seal the game 46-6.

Wigan Warriors: Grace Banks, Emma Welsford, Kaitlin Hilton, Molly Jones, Ellise Derbyshire, Isabel Rowe, Emma Knowles, Holly Speakman, Abbie Singleton, Jade Gregory-Haselden, Eva Hunter, Jodie Morris, Rachel Thompson.

Interchange: Mia-Jayne Atherton, Cerys Jones, Olivia Harborow, Beth Hayes, Lucy Johnson, Alice Fisher, Becky Greenfield, Emma Dwyer, Brogan Evans, Ellie Costello.

Tries: Derbyshire (3), M.Jones (2), Welsford, Hunter, Johnson, Costello.

Goals: Knowles (2), Rowe (2), Morris (1).

Featherstone Rovers: Fran Copley, Ashlea Prescott, Kacey Davies, Ella Johnson, Nat Carr, Chloe Smith, Olivia Grace, Shanelle Mannion, Charley Blackburn, Kirsty Duffield, Hannah Watt, Gabby Harrison, Chloe Billington.

Interchange: Brogan Churm, Tally Bryer, Alyssa Courtney, Brogan Kennedy, Gabrielle Cochrine-Kaney, Maddison Rainey, Shavon Craven, Emillie Holmes, Sophia Liu.

Tries: Brogan Churm.

Goals: Tally Bryer.

By David Bailey.

Sunday 03 March 2024