Women create history with win

  • Match report as Wigan Warriors Women marked their history-making first game at the DW Stadium with a win over Barrow Raiders.
  • Anna Davies crossed twice as the Warriors claimed two points in their Betfred Women’s Super League opener.
  • FT | Wigan Warriors Women 18-4 Barrow Raiders Ladies.

Wigan warriors women came out victorious in their history-making first dw stadium outing following an 18-4 win over barrow raiders ladies.

Despite a scoreless first half, an impressive second 40 from the Warriors saw Dennis Betts’ side score four tries in 20 minutes to claim the two points at the DW Stadium.

Anna Davies crossed twice, with Isabel Rowe and Kaitlin Hilton also scoring for the Warriors on the night. Vanessa Temple scored Barrow’s only try late on in a solid defensive effort from both teams throughout the 80 minutes.


The ball spent the majority of the opening exchanges in Barrow territory, highlighted by an early Warriors chance created by dragging Sam Norman into touch, giving the Cherry and Whites a fresh set of six 20 metres out. A knock on saw that particular opportunity go begging under some strong try-line defence from the visitors, who stood firm with their backs to the wall on a number of occasions in the first 10 minutes.

It would take until the 16th minute for the game to present a closer chance when Barrow intercepted a loose Warriors’ pass deep in home territory. A couple of clever passes would bring the Raiders exceptionally close to opening the scoring, as Temple looked for the line. However, the defence would stand strong once again, with the Warriors this time holding up the forward to keep the scores level.

With 25 minutes on the clock, momentum shifted again in the way of attack. A penalty in Barrow’s half gave the Warriors another set of six in a promising position, which they came even closer to capitalising on. With the ball on the right wing, Cailey Miller attempted to touch down in the corner, but a combination of Barrow defenders wrapped her up into touch to deny the Cherry and Whites once more.

Moments later the away side showed their stubborn defence. With the Warriors’ set started off by a strong Grace Banks return, Anna Davies would eventually receive the ball five metres out from the Barrow try-line on the left-hand side. The ball went wide to Ellise Derbyshire in space, who was held up after cutting inside the Barrow defence looking for the line.

Four minutes before the break the Warriors finally looked to have found a breakthrough. Kaitlin Hilton darted through the Barrow defence in a tremendous solo effort from the halfway line, but the centre was ruled not to have grounded the ball upon crossing the try-line. Shortly after, Davies also looked to have broken through to go the distance in similar fashion for Wigan, but was caught and tackled by Temple around 25 metres out.

Despite Barrow also coming close before the half-time whistle, a solid defensive display from both teams saw the sides go into the break at 0-0.

The Warriors restarted with authority as after a couple of penalties earnt another great chance for the Cherry and Whites in Barrow territory. Wigan took advantage when the ball was moved with pace out to the left flank where Davies would power through to score the first points of the game.

Just four minutes later, the Warriors would double their advantage in style. Isabel Rowe found the ball on the right hand side, superbly dummying the defence to open up a pocket of space. Still with the ball and looking for runners, she span out of a second tackle to go through and score an impressive try in front of the South Stand.

The Warriors were beginning to run riot, with another show of individual brilliance adding to their tally. Davies latched onto a pass around 30 metres out, stepping inside the Barrow defence to race through and score her second of the night under the sticks. Emma Knowles added the extras from the tee, with the Cherry and Whites now 14 up just nine minutes into the second half.

Having seemingly calmed the Warriors storm for now, Barrow were looking to carve a response. With their attack edging closer towards the home side’s try-line, the ever dangerous Temple received the ball on the left. She dived over the line in an effort to touch down, but the Warriors defended valiantly once more to hold her up and deny the score.

With that chance not taken, the Warriors were looking to rebuild momentum, and did so through Kaitlin Hilton. Banks’ quick 20-metre restart once again gave the Cherry and Whites a good opportunity to make something happen, with Hilton receiving the ball on the right hand side. She used her pace to create space, before bouncing off Barrow defenders to run in and score.

Time was running out for the Raiders to mount a comeback, but Amanda Wilkinson’s side made sure they went home with some attacking consolation. The ball was shifted out on left flank to Michelle Larkin who dived over and scored, cutting the deficit by four with the game nearing it’s end.

The final whistle blew to signal an 18-4 victory for the Warriors, with an impressive second half display the difference in their first ever outing at the DW Stadium.


Wigan Warriors: Grace Banks, Cailey Miller, Kaitlin Hilton, Anna Davies, Ellise Derbyshire, Isabel Rowe, Emma Knowles, Holly Speakman, Abbie Singleton, Alice Fisher, Rease Casey, Mary Coleman, Rachel Thompson.

Interchanges: Cerys Jones, Jade Gregory-Haselden, Olivia Harborow, Bethany Hayes.

18th Player: Sinead Doria.

Tries: Davies (43′, 49′), Rowe (47′) Hilton (60′).

Goals: Knowles (1/4).

Barrow Raiders: Sam Norman, Emma Hutchinson, Claire Hutchinson, Michelle Larkin, Alice Rush, Demi Fisher, Jodie Litherland, Mia Dobson, Beth Lindsay, Jodie Morley, Leah Clough, Vanessa Temple, Emily Stirzaker.

Interchanges: Leah Cottier, Hannah Sherlock, Charlotte Todhunter, Shannon Parker.

18th Player: Laura Mellen.

Tries: Larkin (72′).

Goals: Sherlock 0/1

By Harvey Orgill.

Friday 19 April 2024