Match report as Wigan Warriors Women lose narrowly to Leeds
The Warriors got themselves in front in the opening period, but two second half tries from Leeds enough to take the win
- Tries from Joanie Aspin and Michelle Davis for Wigan
Wigan Warriors Women, playing in only their second ever game, lost out narrowly to Leeds Rhinos at Robin Park Arena.
In an end to end first half, Lois Forsell opened the scoring for Leeds before Joanie Aspin hit back. Leeds went over again through Courtney Hill, but Michelle Davis took Wigan into a half time lead with a converted try and a penalty goal.
Leeds came out rejuvenated after the break, scoring through Shannon Lacey and Charlotte Booth to go in front. The Warriors launched some nice attacking play in the final ten but it wasn’t enough to claim the points.
Wigan made some changes from their season opener, as Alison Burrows came in for Kate McMullan and Katie Coen started in place of Georgia Wilson. Chloe Hammond, Jade Gregory and Abby Latchford all earned a place on the interchange bench after missing out against Featherstone.
Leeds named a strong side against the Warriors, new signing Courtney Hill comes in at six and Leah Birkin earning a place in the starting line-up.
It was a tense opening ten minutes with the teams getting some big hits in and the ball going from end to end. Wigan showed some good defensive periods in the opening stages but Lois Forsell managed to sneak through after 12 minutes to get Leeds on the board. The effort was converted to take Leeds out to 6-0.
Wigan responded well as they worked their way up-field with some good attacking passing, before Leeds gave away a penalty. Wigan ran the set well and an inch perfect kick to the corner from Sarah Harrison allowed Joanie Aspin to collect and crash over, Michelle Davis converting to level it at 6-6.
The Warriors made some good half-breaks, their best coming in the 19th minute, taking them 20m from the Leeds line, but Courtney Hill came up with the ball to race away and score under the sticks to put Leeds 12-6 in front.
Wigan were back level in the 24th minute though, as Vanessa Temple went on a blistering run to evade a number of defenders before feeding the ball to Davis to go over, the number five also converting her effort to make it 12-12.
Wigan moved into the lead on 30 minutes after a penalty for holding down at the play-the-ball put them in good range. Michelle Davis stepped up and added the penalty goal to put Wigan in front at the break.
An awkward kick off from Wigan allowed Becky Greenfield to pounce on the loose ball but Sarah Harrison was forced into touch before anything could come of the chance. Wigan pressed with some good defence though, Armani Sharrocks putting in a big hit to keep Leeds back.
Wigan knocked-on from a kick in the 44th minute, allowing Leeds a scrum 40 metres from the try-line. A penalty immediately afterwards meant that Leeds had a full set 10 metres out from which Anderson ran through on the diagonal to feed Lacey for the try, nudging Leeds two in front. Charlotte Booth went over for the Rhinos in the 50th minute to put them a converted try in front with thirty minutes remaining in the half.
Joanie Aspin put in a big hit in defence to keep Leeds back, but Wigan were penalised for a high shot straight after and Leeds stayed on the front foot.
Wigan came close in the 57th minute as Becky Greenfield burst through, passing to Harrison who got a pass away to Temple, but the Leeds defence was equal to it and the chance went begging.
Amanda Wilkinson’s side went close again in the 70th minute, Vanessa Temple looked to have gone over but the play was pulled back. The Warriors tried again but the kick through went dead and Leeds got the 20m restart. Wigan looked like they could have pulled it level in the 77th as a Leeds kick on the last was charged down well by Temple and Davis but the number five couldn’t stay on her feet to chase the ball down.
Leeds hanging on for the win in a pulsating finish.
Wigan Warriors Women 14-20 Leeds Rhinos Women
Wigan Warriors Women – 14
Tries: Aspin, Davis
Goals: Davis 3/3
Leeds Rhinos Women – 20
Tries: Forsell, C.Hill, Lacey, Booth
Conversions: Marshall 2/3
Wigan Warriors Women: 1. Rebecca Greenfield, 20. Alison Burrows, 13. Katie Coen, 24. Vanessa Temple, 5. Michelle Davis, 6. Gemma Walsh, 7. Sarah Harrison, 11. Armani Sharrocks, 16. Emma Dwyer, 10. Joanie Aspin, 15. Gemma Hennessey, 12. Holly Speakman, 3. Rachel Thompson
Interchange: 8. Chloe Hammond, 22. Jade Gregory, 23. Lucy Baggaley, 21. Abby Latchford
Leeds Rhinos Women: 1. Charlotte Booth, 2. Sophie Robinson, 3. Manina Spurr, 4. Megan Price, 5. Suze Hill, 6. Courtney Hill, 8. Danika Priim, 9. Lois Forsell, 10. Dannielle Anderson, 11. Aimee Staveley, 12. Larissa Deaves, 13. Amy Johnson, 14. Leah Birkin
Interchange: 16. Caitlin Beevers, 17. Shannon Lacey, 18. Kacy Haley, 19. Rhiannon Marshall