Match report from Wigan Warriors Women v St Helens Women in Women’s Super League
First ever Wigan v St Helens derby in Women’s Super League ends in a win for the Warriors
- Tries from Georgia Wilson (2), Sarah Harrison and Becky Greenfield for Wigan
Wigan Warriors Women created history on Sunday after beating St Helens in the first ever Women’s Derby.
Amanda Wilkinson named a similar squad to the one that faced Castleford Tigers Women last weekend. Lucy Baggaley came into the starting thirteen, after three appearances as a substitute this season. Charlotte Foley also returned from a knee injury to earn a place on the bench.
St Helens, who were unbeaten and had scored 40+ points in all of their games so far this season, made a number of changes from the game against Featherstone Rovers with Zoe Harris coming in at full back.
Wigan were under pressure from the kick-off after a knock-on gifted St Helens great field position but the Warriors defended tough and a great tackle on the last from Michelle Davis forced Saints into touch.
Wigan were tested on the left wing again moments later, this time Burke diving for the line, but good defence from Davis and Sarah Harrison denied Saints the try.
St Helens got the first of the game in the seventh minute as Chantelle Crowl found her way over after latching onto a short flat pass, Faye Gaskin added the conversion to put Saints 6-0 up. Wigan struggled to find their feet but backed up with good defence as St Helens continued to ask questions. The visitors ran it down the right side in the 15th minute but Hill couldn’t keep hold of it and Wigan had the scrum.
Saints got the ball back, this time running down the left side, they looked to be in for a second but fantastic defence, again from Davis and Harrison, in the in-goal area forced a knock-on before the ball could be grounded.
Wigan were allowed to break away through Rebecca Greenfield, before winning a penalty. With the Warriors asking questions of the St Helens defence, they created an inviting overlap for Georgia Wilson to get over and score in the 30th minute. The number four getting the pass from the inside and crashing over, Davis couldn’t convert and it was Wigan 4-6 St Helens at the break.
The Warriors started the second half well and got a goal line drop out from the kick off after Michelle Davis kick from the tee wasn’t dealt with. Wigan looked good in attack but Gemma Walsh was sin binned for dissent after a tackle going forward. Wigan coped well without their Captain though, putting some pressure on Saints defensive line.
Wigan got the breakthrough in the 57th minute, Vanessa Temple ran it forward and gave her defenders the slip before sending Wilson free down the left wing, the number four running it from half way to go over. The conversion was missed but Wigan had the lead for the first time in the match.
Just four minutes later Wigan extended their lead. Camped on the St Helens goal line after some errors from the visitors, Gemma Walsh ran a great diagonal line to feed Sarah Harrison who muscled her way over for the try. The conversion was missed but Wigan were 12-6 to the good with less than twenty minutes to play.
Wigan thought they were in again soon after, Walsh coming up with the ball from a one-on-one tackle for Wigan to go over, but the referee adjudged a foot to be in touch. Walsh saw another yellow card for a professional foul in the build-up.
The Warriors definitely looked the brighter team in the second half and they made it count in the 70th minute when Rebecca Greenfield got herself on the scoresheet. Stretching out to evade her marker, Greenfield put Wigan ten points in front with ten minutes left on the clock.
St Helens looked for a response, pushing for a try late on but Wigan defended well under pressure, denying a certain score before the kick on the last was straight into the hands of Walsh.
Wigan held on for the final few minutes, before the whistle was blown to give Wigan bragging rights in their first ever Derby.
FULL TIME: Wigan Warriors Women 16-6 St Helens Women
Wigan Warriors Women – 16
Tries: Wilson (2), Harrison, Greenfield
Goals: Davis 0/4
St Helens Women – 6
Conversions: Gaskin 1/1
Wigan Warriors Women: 1. Rebecca Greenfield, 20. Alison Burrows, 4. Georgia Wilson, 24. Vanessa Temple, 5. Michelle Davis, 6. Gemma Walsh, 7. Sarah Harrison, 23. Lucy Baggaley, 26. Claire Hall, 10. Joanie Aspin, 15. Gemma Hennessey, 12. Holly Speakman, 3. Rachel Thompson
Interchange: 8. Chloe Hammond, 25. Amanda Sibbald, 9. Charlotte Foley, 19. Hannah Goodburn
St Helens Women: 1. Zoe Harris, 2. Charlotte Hill, 3. Naomi Williams, 4. Katie-May Williams, 5. Leah Burke, 6. Carys March, 7. Faye Gaskin, 8. Sarah Lovejoy, 9. Tara Jones, 10. Dawn Taylor, 11. Roxy Mura, 12. Emily Rudge, 13. Chantelle Crowl.
Interchange: 14. Pip Birchall, 15. Isabelle Rudge, 16. Lizzie Gladman, 17. Vicky Whitfield