Amanda Wilkinson on Wigan Women’s 18-16 Grand Final win over Leeds Rhinos Women
Warriors crowned Women’s Super League Champions in first year in the competition
- A delighted Wilkinson proud of her side
Wigan Warriors Women were crowned 2018 Women’s Super League Champions, in their first season in the Competition, as they beat Leeds Rhinos Women 18-16 in a dramatic finish at the Manchester Regional Arena.
A hat-trick of tries from Rachel Thompson and a great effort from Georgia Wilson cancelled out Rhiannion Marshall’s early opener, but Caitlin Beevers and Suze Hill both scored as Leeds drew level with minutes left on the clock, before Charlotte Foley calmly slotted over a penalty goal to give Wigan the win in the dying moments.
The head coach said: “It still hasn’t really sunk in. For me, I’m just so proud of the girls and what they’ve become, some of those girls have never played Rugby League, some never played in big occasions such as this.”
“It was down to them on the day, but they turned up and they did themselves proud.”
“I must admit, as every Coach does, there were parts in the game were discipline got the better of us, giving silly penalties away and we can’t afford to do that. That is something we will have to work on in the off season.”
“We need to be better at that, we do play ourselves a little sometimes, but when we had the ball we looked dangerous every time we touched the ball and defensively, I was worried at times but deep down I knew the girls would dig deep and they’ve got it in defence when they need to have it.”
Rachel Thompson made sure she was top of the Wigan try scoring list for the season as she bagged herself a Grand Final hat-trick. On the number three, Wilkinson said: “Rachel is so much more than that still, I know a hat-trick is amazing and being top try-scorer this year is great, but she is so much more.”
“Rachel is a class player, she’s played throughout the season with injury after injury and she is so strong and determined. She’s not the biggest, nor the fastest but she’s got a really big heart and she gives it everything she’s got.”
Charlotte Foley’s last-minute penalty was enough to seal the win: “Charlotte Foley had a bad start to the season, picking up an injury in our pre-season game against Widnes. She really has come to, I believe she came on in the semi-final and made a difference and I thought she was outstanding today. She has got that calmness about her but I thought she held her own and I’m so proud and happy for her to get that penalty goal at the end.”
The win meant Wigan were two from two in their respective Grand Finals, before the Warriors first team went on to beat Warrington. On her win, the head coach said: “It’s not about what damage you can do to other people, it’s about what you can do for yourselves. I’m so pleased for the girls, they really worked hard, we were never favourites or even expected to get to the Grand Final. So to get to the Grand Final and win it, I’m so chuffed for them.”