Saints Women hosted the Wigan Warriors at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Sunday knowing that they needed only a point to secure a home semi-final. They confirmed that impressively, nilling Wigan for the second time this season to continue their unbeaten run.
It was the Saints who took an 11th minute lead. Emily Rudge finding herself on the end of a pass from Faye Gaskin close to the Wigan line and she avoided the pressure of multiple tackles to force her way over. Gaskin added the extras for 6-0.
Wigan were forced to play with 12 women for the next ten minutes, Sarah Harrison getting sin-binned in the 15th minute, but the home side were unable to make their numbers count.
The same combination earned Saints another try in the 31st minute. Gaskin finding Rudge close to the Warriors line and she strolled over for her second of the game, Gaskin adding the extras as the Saints Women led 12-0 at the break.
Saints added a third shortly into the second half. Wigan spilling the ball in their own half. Shortly after the scrum, Chantelle Crowl found Rudge on the left, she then found Rhianna Burke who forced her way over in the left corner. Gaskin’s conversion attempt fell narrowly short of the sticks.
Tara Jones then got the try of the game, just before the hour mark. She ran from dummy half well within her own half, she runs away the Warriors fullback with ease before scoring underneath the sticks. Gaskin added the extra two for 22-0.
Gemma Walsh was sent off on the hour mark for the visitors, moments after the visitors thought they had scored their first try of the game.
Two minutes from time Crowl went over for the dominant Saints from dummy half, to confirm their win and a home playoff. Gaskin added the conversion to give the Saints a 28-0 win.
Saints Team – Jodie Cunningham, Rebecca Avenell, Katie-May Williams, Rhianna Burke, Leah Burke, Zoe Harris, Faye Gaskin, Sarah Lovejoy, Tara Jones, Claire Mullaney, Pip Birchall, Emily Rudge, Chantelle Crowl.
Subs – Naomi Williams, Darcy Stott, Lizzie Gladman, Paige Travis.
Tries – Emily Rudge (2), Rhianna Burke, Tara Jones, Chantelle Crowl.
Goals – Faye Gaskin (4 from 5).
Wigan Team – Alisson Burrows, Rebecca Greenfield, Georgia Wilson, Rachel Thompson, Megan Grace-Holding, Gemma Walsh, Charlotte Foley, Jade Gregory-Hasleden, Carys Marsh, Holly Speakman, Victoria Molyneux, Amanda Sibbald, Sarah Harrison.
Subs – Emily Baggaley, Leah Derbyshire, Eleanor Dainty, Katie Stephens.
Sin Bin – Sarah Harrison (15).
Red Cards – Gemma Walsh (60).