Match report from Leeds Rhinos Women v Wigan Warriors Women in Women’s Super League Grand Final
Wigan win Women’s Grand Final in their first year in Super League
- Tries from Thompson (3) & Wilson for Wigan
The Warriors, featuring in the Grand Final in their first Season since forming, denied Leeds of a perfect treble by winning in dramatic fashion in the Women’s Super League Final.
The Warriors had a bright start to the game, with Vanessa Temple going close from the off. Leeds soon found their pace though and Rhiannon Marshall got the first of the game, converted by Courtney Hill for 6-0. Wigan showed just why they made it to the final though, as they stepped up in attack and defence, Rachel Thompson crossed in the 9th minute before getting her second in the 37th minute, the result of a good grubber and chase from Wigan allowing the number three to put the Warriors ahead at the break. Georgia Wilson extended Wigan’s lead in the 47th minute, latching onto a looping pass from Becky Greenfield to score in the right corner for 12-6 Wigan. Rachel Thompson registered her hattrick in the 59th minute to stretch Wigan to 16-6. Beevers got Leeds back to within four as she raced 80m to go in under the sticks and pull it back to 16-12 with 15 on the clock. Leeds got the game level with minutes to go, as Suze Hill crashed over in the right corner and it was 16-16. Charlotte Foley sealed the win in dramatic fashion, as the warriors were awarded a penalty in the dying seconds, the number nine getting the two points to get the 18-16 win.
Amanda Wilkinson named an unchanged side from her Semi-Final victory over St Helens Women. Rachel Thompson and Michelle Davis both remaining at Centre, with Alison Burrows and Georgia Wilson the choice wingers.
The Warriors started well, with Vanessa Temple breaking the line and powering forward, but the number 24 was brought down just short of the line for the turnover. The Rhinos got over for the first of the game, Leeds asking questions of the Wigan defence and Marshall spinning away from her defender to get the ball down, the conversion from Courtney Hill was good and Leeds had the 6-0 advantage. Wigan hit straight back though, the ball ran well down the left edge for Rachel Thompson to add to her tally for the season and get Wigan on the scoreboard, the conversion was just wide and it was 6-4 to Leeds. Wigan came closest next, Becky Greenfield caught high by Sophie Robinson before Sarah Harrison was taken off the ball, the back to back penalties taking the Warriors 30m away. Michelle Davis had eyes for the corner but the Leeds back line bundled her into touch before she could get the ball down. Wigan ended the half the strongest, stepping up in defence to force errors from the Rhinos, before a great grubber from Claire Hall and a good chase from the Wigan pack forces Leeds into a goal line drop out. From the resulting ball, Wigan spread it left to Rachel Thompson who took the inside step and added the legs to get it down and put Wigan 8-6 ahead on the half time hooter.
Wigan started the second half just as bright as the first, as the Rhinos made a few errors. A double knock on meant that Wigan had the head and feed 20m away, the ball coming to Becky Greenfield who looped a pass out to the right where Georgia Wilson was waiting in space to collect the ball and slam it down in the corner, the conversion from Foley was missed but Wigan led 12-6. Leeds got themselves back up the other end as they looked for the response, a high bomb from Courtney Hill was testing but collected well by Georgia Wilson for the drop out. The kick went 30m allowing Leeds to put some pressure on Wigan but the Rhinos spilled up another error, this time the pass to heavy and bouncing into touch for Wigan to have possession back. The Warriors were asking questions of the Leeds line and forcing some errors from their opposition, winning a one-on-one wrestle to get the ball and sending Rachel Thompson over for her third of the day and making it 16-6 to the Warriors. Leeds got a lifeline though when a 20m restart was tapped by Caitlin Beevers, before the full-back raced the length of the field to score under the sticks, converted by Hill to pull it back to 16-12 in Wigan’s favour. It was an agonisingly tense finish to the proceedings, as both sides pressed for the finishing piece of magic in the game and it was Leeds who found a spark as Suze Hill crashed over on the right edge in the 76th minute, but the touchline conversion from Courtney Hill edged wide and it was all square with the clock ticking down. In the dying moments, Wigan were awarded a penalty as Leeds were caught offside, the call from the Warriors bench was a resounding ‘two’, Charlotte Foley stepped up to take the kick and slotted it between the uprights to make it 18-16 to the Warriors at the final after a dramatic finish.
Leeds Rhinos Women 16-18 Wigan Warriors Women
Match Details Wigan Warriors Women - 18 Tries: Thompson (3), Wilson Goals: Davis 0/3, Foley 1/2 Leeds Rhinos Women – 16 Tries: Marshall, Beevers, S.Hill Goals: Hill 2/3
Wigan Warriors Women: 1. Becky Greenfield, 20. Alison Burrows, 3. Rachel Thompson, 4. Georgia Wilson, 5. Michelle Davis, 6. Gemma Walsh, 7. Sarah Harrison, 19. Hannah Goodburn, 26. Claire Hall, 8. Chloe Hammond, 25. Amanda Sibbald, 24. Vanessa Temple, 10. Joanie Aspin
Interchange: 12. Holly Speakman, 9. Charlotte Foley, 23. Lucy Baggaley, 15. Gemma Hennessey Leeds Rhinos Women: 1. Caitlin Beevers, 2. Suze Hill, 3. Charlotte Booth, 4. Sophie Robinson, 5. Madison Laverick, 6. Hanna Butcher, 7. Courtney Hill, 8. Rhiannion Marshall, 10. Dannielle Anderson, 11. Aimee Staveley, 12. Manina Spurr, 13. Shannon Lacey
Interchange: 14. Frankie Townend, 15. Sophie Nuttall, 16. Chloe Kerrigan, 17. Ellie Oldroyd