Leeds Rhinos Women came back from 14-0 down to beat the Saints Women 18-14 and book their place at next Friday's Women’s Grand Final at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
The Saints started the stronger of the two, taking the lead after just three minutes. Leeds knocked on in their own half, Saints pushed forward underneath the sticks, before Emily Rudge found Paige Travis who slid over in the left corner. Faye Gaskin missed the conversion.
Saints extended their lead 20 minutes later. Tara Jones made a break to get the hosts up field. Gaskin then found Rudge and she found Travis to make the break. Travis offloaded the ball to Leah Burke on her left and she scored in the left corner. Gaskin missed the conversion.
We were in again shortly after as on the last, the ball ended up with Zoe Harris and she threw a dummy to score to the right of the sticks. Gaskin’s first conversion of the game made it 14-0.
Leeds responded shortly before the break. They had numbers on the short side down Saints’ left and Abby Eatock jumped over to reduce the deficit. Courtney Hill missed the conversion, meaning Saints led 14-4 at half-time.
The Rhinos had the momentum and Hill grabbed a try of her own shortly into the second half, throwing a dummy through the Saints line before taking on a defender to score. She couldn’t convert her try, so Saints stayed six in front.
The Rhinos then added their third successive try as we entered the last 15 minutes. Hill kicking the ball high, it was fumbled by Saints and it allowed Charlotte Booth to pick it up and score in the right corner. Hill missed the conversion and Saints remained ahead by two. Hill did add a 72nd minute penalty though to level the scores as we headed into the closing stages.
Then heartbreak for Saints as in the 78th minute, Eatock scored her second try of the game in the right corner after Saints failed to deal with a chip over the top. Hill missed the conversion, but it was the Rhinos who progressed to next Friday’s Women’s Super League Grand Final after a spiritied 14-18 comeback win where they will face Castleford Tigers at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
Saints Team: Rebecca Rotheram, Rebecaa Avenell, Katie-May Williams, Paige Travis, Leah Burke, Zoe Harris, Faye Gaskin, Sarah Lovejoy, Tara Jones, Claire Mullaney, Chantelle Crowl, Jodie Cunningham.
Interchanges: Naomi Williams, Darcy Stott, Lizzie Gladman, Pip Birchall.
Tries: Paige Travis, Leah Burke, Zoe Harris.
Conversions: Faye Gaskin (1 from 3).
Leeds Team: Caitlin Beevers, Fran Goldthorp, Chloe Kerrigan, Abby Eatock, Maddison Laverick, Hanna Butcher, Courtney Hill, Shannon Lacey, Tasha Gaines, Amy Johnson, Charlotte Booth, Sophie Nuttall, Aimee Staveley.
Interchanges: Ellie Frain, Ellie Oldroyd, Danika Priim, Keara Bennett.
Tries: Abby Eatock (2), Courtney Hill, Charlotte Booth.
Conversions: Courtney Hill (0 from 3)
Penalties: – Courtney Hill (1 from 1)