Women’s Super League: York City Knights reach first Grand Final as Leeds Rhinos end St Helens reign | Rugby League News
York qualify for the Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final for the first time after a hard-fought victory against Wigan Warriors; Leeds ended St Helens’ reign as champions with victory in the other semi-final at Headingley
Last update: 22/09/04 19:51
We round up all the action from Headingley as York City Knights and Leeds Rhinos book their places in the Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final at Totally Wicked Stadium on Sunday September 18…
York City Knights 12-4 Wigan Warriors
Savannah Andrade and Kelsey Gentles’ tries helped York advance to the Grand Final for the first time as they faced Wigan Warriors in the first of the day’s semi-finals.
York was all for much of the first half but Wigan’s defense held firm to keep the City Knights scoreless at half-time – the first time this season they had gone scoreless at half-time .
The closest either side came in the first 40 minutes was by Gentles, only to have the video referee rule out his try after replays showed the England international had kicked in before putting the ball on the ground.
However, the second half had barely a minute before the deadlock was finally broken as Tara Stanley fed Andrade for the cross to hit the gas and power off.
Full-back Stanley converted and added two more points from a penalty six minutes later, and York surged further in the 51st minute as Gentles repaired their earlier mistake.
The winger was there to finish wide on the left after a solid run from Sinead Peach, followed by Hollie Dodd taking the defense and then Katie Langan providing the final pass for an unconverted score.
Wigan were yet to finish, however, and kept their hopes alive thanks to Laureane Biville, who capitalized on a rare error from Stanley as she lost possession after letting a ball bounce and the French star getting it. recovered to complete for an unconverted try.
But there was to be no coming back for the winners of the 2018 Grand Final as the City Knights saw the game to clinch a place in the showpiece match on September 18 on the day they also received the League Leaders’ Shield. league that had been secured. the previous week.
“It’s just amazing,” York head coach Lindsay Anfield said. “They did tough things at times, but I thank Wigan for a classy game and I’m so happy for our girls that they can get to their first Grand Final.
“The girls’ spirit and belief that they can go to a grand final and do something is brilliant.”
St Helens 6-14 Leeds Rhinos
Sophie Robinson’s two unconverted tries helped send Leeds through to the Grand Final and end St Helens’ reign as Women’s Super League champions.
The Saints, who rested inspirational captain Jodie Cunningham as a precaution for this semi-final, had already beaten the Rhinos in this year’s Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup and were back at the site where they had beaten the same opponents in last year’s Grand Final.
There had been little choice between the teams in either encounter and that proved to be the case again this time around as well, although it was the defending champions who had the best of the first opportunities.
Emily Rudge and Shona Hoyle had possible tries ruled out by the video referee and St Helens then opened the deadlock in the 25th minute when Rebecca Rotheram sent Rachael Woosey to burst a 10-yard gap to finish. However, Beth Stott’s attempted conversion hit the posts.
It was the only score of the first half and Leeds were back level within seven minutes of the restart after forcing a drop on the goal line, with Courtney Winfield-Hill sending Robinson down the left touchline for an unconverted essay.
A 62nd-minute Stott penalty sent the Saints back in front, but they were called off five minutes later when Winfield-Hill delivered a precise cross kick that escaped Eboni Partington’s grasp and went perfectly sat for Robinson to grab and finish.
There was still time for Zoe Hornby to force her way from close range as the horn sounded, followed by Winfield-Hill sealing victory with the conversion, to keep Leeds on course for their first Grand Final triumph since 2019.
“It was really tough, and the girls did well,” Rhinos head coach Lois Forsell said.
“They were absolutely classy showing up for each other, and they had that belief, so I’m extremely proud of them.”
Watch York City Knights and Leeds Rhinos battle it out to be crowned champions in the Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final at Totally Wicked Stadium on Sunday 18 September, live on Sky Sports.