St Helens Women have booked their place in their first ever Women's Grand Final, by beating Castleford 58-0 at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Sunday afternoon!
Saints started the game with a second minute try. Castleford fumbled the ball in the middle of the pitch, that allowed us to gather the ball and later on during the set Jodie Cunningham found Carrie Roberts who was not to be stopped as she stepped past a couple of tacklers before carrying a Castleford defender over the try-line with her. Beth Stott’s conversion attempt went wide, 4-0 we led.
Our lead was extended just over ten minutes later. Paige Travis made a break down the middle and then stepped past Tara-Jane Stanley to score to the left of the sticks. Stott’s conversion bounced out off the post, 8-0 Saints led.
Saints grabbed a third try four minutes later. Tara Jones spotted a gap down the middle and exploited it, she then span to the line as the Castleford defenders tried to prevent her from scoring. Stott missed the conversion, 12-0.
A fourth followed for the hosts as we entered the midpoint of the first half, this time Cunningham with a great run down the left side to score in the corner. Stott missed the conversion, 16-0.
Saints continued their dominant start with a fifth try. A high kick to the Castleford left was not dealt with, Leah Burke reacting the quickest to score in the corner despite Castleford’s best efforts to stop her. Zoe Harris took over the kicking duties but missed, 20-0 we led.
Castleford looked destined to grab with first try with six minutes to go in the first period. However, a last ditch Burke tackle was followed up by Saints holding the visitors up over the line so they remained scoreless.
Cunningham then added her second try as we approached half-time. She made a break down the middle and ran around the final Castleford defender to score. Harris added the extras, 26-0.
Chantelle Crowl then powered over from close range on the hooter. Harris added the extras, as we were well and truly in control at the break, as we led 32-0.
Despite Castleford dominating the opening few minutes of the second half, it was Saints who grabbed the first try. Castleford fumbled the ball in the middle of the pitch, Jones was the quickest to react and sprinted half the length of the pitch to score underneath the sticks. Harris added the extras, 38-0.
Another followed two minutes later. From the kickoff Saints worked the ball downfield, a few tackles into it Rachael Woosey made a break down the left and fed the ball inside to Travis who grabbed her second try of the game. Harris added the two, 44-o.
The scoring did not stop there for Saints. Roberts made a break down the left before feeding the ball to Burke who grabbed her second try of the game. Harris was unable to add the two from the right touchline, 48-0.
Woosey then crowned a great performance from herself with a try late on. A flowing Saints move from left to right saw Cunningham find Woosey who glided through a gap to score. Harris added the two, 54-0.
A further try followed for Saints, once again the ball was worked out to the right side and Burke completed her hattrick! Harris missed the conversion, 58-0.
That was to be the final score of the game, as Saints confirmed their place in this years Women’s Grand Final at Emerald Headingley on Sunday 10th October. We will face Leeds Rhinos Women in the Final after they defeated York in the second semi-final.
Saints Team: Rachael Woosey, Danielle Bush, Carrie Roberts, Amy Hardcastle, Leah Burke, Beth Stott, Zoe Harris, Isabelle Rudge, Tara Jones, Chantelle Crowl, Naomi Williams, Paige Travis, Jodie Cunningham.
Interchanges: Victoria Whitfield, Dawn Akrigg, Pip Birchall, Alice Sandham.
Tries: Carrie Roberts (2), Paige Travis (13, 50), Tara Jones (17, 48), Jodie Cunningham (20, 37), Leah Burke (24, 56, 76), Chantelle Crowl (40), Rachael Woosey (73)
Conversions: Beth Stott (0 from 4), Zoe Harris (5 from 7)
Castleford Tigers Team: Tara-Jane Stanley, Kaitlin Varley, Aimee Wallace, Hollie Dodd, Elland Lamb, Danielle Waters, Lucy Eastwood, Samantha Watts, Jasmine Cudjoe, Kirsty Duffield, Emma Lumley, Shona Hoyle, Jasmine Bell.
Interchanges: Lacey Owen, Maddie Hirst, Amie Backhouse, Libby Preistley.