Match report from Wigan Warriors Women v Leeds Rhinos Women in Women’s Challenge Cup Semi Final
The Warriors miss out on a spot in the Challenge Cup Final as they are handed a defeat at the hands of Leeds
Two tries from Becky Greenfield for Wigan
Wigan Warriors Women fell short of a first Challenge Cup Final appearance, as they were beaten by Leeds Rhinos Women on Sunday afternoon.
The visitors opened the scoring after 10 minutes, before Wigan levelled things moments later through Becky Greenfield. Strong attacking play from Leeds saw them get two more converted tries from Beevers and Anderson to put them 16-4 to the good at the half time hooter. Wigan came out with a good attacking attitude in the second period, forcing some errors and getting over for a score in the 46th minute to take it to Leeds 16-8 Wigan. Despite Wigan’s persistent attack, they were punished by Leeds at the final sprint, Townend and Booth both crossing to put Leeds 26-8 ahead and into the Challenge Cup Final.
Wigan put out a strong team, with many starting regulars taking their spot in the line-up. Kate McMullan and Jade Gregory-Haselden also came into the fold on the interchange bench, the only changes from the Challenge Cup Quarter Final. Joint top try-scorers for Wigan Gemma Walsh, Amanda Sibbald and Rachel Thompson all started.
Shannon Lacey returned for the Rhinos, with Abbie Spencer on the team sheet for her first appearance for the visitors.
It was a slow opening to the game, both sides struggling to find a foothold, with errors coming at both ends of the field. Leeds got over for the first of the game, with Beevers going in at the corner after latching on to a fired pass out wide, the conversion was wide but Leeds were 4-0 up. Wigan hit back in the 14th minute, a penalty taking them 18m out, the play shifted right to left with Gemma Walsh picking out a pass to Becky Greenfield who was in space to score. The conversion was just short and the scores were level at 4-4. Leeds got themselves ahead again in the 17th minute, a Wigan pass intercepted on the left wing, allowing Leeds to race away. Temple got the cover but Leeds got the offload to Beevers to score, the conversion successful from Hill for 10-4 Leeds. Wigan had a dominant stage following the Leeds try, but their efforts came to nothing with both sides continuing to cough up errors. Leeds extended their advantage in the 33rd minute, a penalty taking them 30m away, quick play from Forsell allowed Anderson to crash under the sticks, the effort converted to put Leeds 16-4 to the good at the break.
Wigan Warriors Women 4-16 Leeds Rhinos Women
Wigan dominated the early stages of the second half, forcing some errors from the Rhinos and they got the reward as Greenfield crossed for Wigan’s second of the game in the 46th minute. Another well timed pass from Walsh to the full-back allowed her to get over for the score, the conversion was agonisingly wide to make it Leeds 16-8 Wigan. Wigan piled on the pressure as they looked to get themselves back in it, but chances were coming up short as Leeds stepped up their defence. Leeds came close in the 61st minute but were held up by a swarm of cherry and white shirts, they thought they were over in the 63rd but again were comfortably held up. They did get over eventually though, as a stretch from Townend allowed Leeds to extend their advantage to 20-8 with 15 minutes to go. Leeds had a sting in their tail as Charlotte Booth crashed over in the corner in the 68th minute, the touchline conversion bouncing in off the uprights to put Leeds 26-8 ahead and booking them a place in the final.
Wigan Warriors Women 8-26 Leeds Rhinos Women
Wigan Warriors Women - 8 Tries: Greenfield (2) Goals: Davis 0/2
Leeds Rhinos Women - 26 Tries: Beevers (2), Anderson, Townend, Booth Conversions: Hill 3/5
Wigan Warriors Women: 1. Rebecca Greenfield, 20. Alison Burrows, 4. Georgia Wilson, 24. Vanessa Temple, 5. Michelle Davis, 6. Gemma Walsh, 7. Sarah Harrison, 8. Chloe Hammond, 26. Claire Hall, 10. Joanie Aspin, 12. Holly Speakman, 25. Amanda Sibbald, 3. Rachel Thompson
Interchange: 23. Lucy Baggaley, 19. Hannah Goodburn, 15. Gemma Hennessey, 9. Charlotte Foley, 14. Freya Hellin, 18. Kate McMullan, 22. Jade Gregory-Haselden Leeds Rhinos Women: 1. Charlotte Booth, 2. Madison Laverick, 3. Sophie Nuttall, 4. Sophie Robinson, 5. Caitlin Beevers, 6. Courtney Hill, 7. Hanna Butcher, 8. Amy Johnson, 9. Lois Forsell, 10. Dannielle Anderson, 11. Aimee Staveley, 12. Manina Spurr, 13. Rhiannion Marshall
Interchange: 14. Suze Hill, 15. Shannon Lacey, 16. Frankie Townend, 17. Chloe Kerrigan, 18. Elle Frain, 19. Abbie Spencer