The biggest derby in Rugby League came to the Women’s game on Sunday as the unbeaten Saints travelled over Billinge Lump to face their arch rivals.

But unfortunately, Saints went down 16-6 writes Graham Henthorne.

Saints had replaced injury victim Becca Rotherham at fullback with Zoe Harris but stuck largely with the group of girls who had played so much sparkling rugby so far.

And it was the Saints who started the brightest forcing error after error on their hosts but crucially they failed to make this dominance count.

Leah Burke was the first to go close as she was bundled into touch down the left metres short.

But the Saints did register the first score in the derby as the tireless Channy Crowl took a fabulous short pass from Captain Tara Jones to crash over to the left of the posts. This coming after both Dawn Taylor and Jones herself had been stopped short.

The left hand edge attack for the Saints was cutting the home side to ribbons. A powerful run and offload from Lizzie Gladman and again from Crowl saw the ball find its way to Katie-May Williams and it looked as if the centre had scored but she seemed to be affected by the confusing markings and short in-goal and was denied the score.

As the half wore on, however, the Saints seemed to go into their shell and the home side enjoyed a welter of possession in the Saints half culminating in a score in the left corner.

The goal was missed and the Saints took a two-point lead into the break.

The call at the interval was to go back to what had worked in the first quarter but for whatever reason it didn’t materialise and two tries on or around the hour mark took the game away from the Saints.

Both conversions were missed so the Saints were only six points in arrears but in reality it was a lot more.

A fourth try with ten minutes to go proved to be the final straw and despite Crowl going close the Saints were well beaten.

Saints Head Coach Mark Brennan said: “We are obviously disappointed with the result. We know we didn’t play how we have done for the last three games and didn’t execute our plays. We created a few opportunities which in previous games we have scored but that was not to be today.

“I can’t knock the effort from the girls though; everyone gave it a good crack but was just one of those days.

“We started really well but in the second half we couldn’t get field position to create pressure on them and fair credit to Wigan, they deserved the win.

“We will hard, put the game to bed and then focus on our next game which will be another tough game against Leeds this week.”

Match Summary:

Wigan Women:
Tries: Georgia Wilson (33), Alison Burrows (56), Sarah Harrison (61), Rebecca Greenfield (70).
Goals: Sarah Harrison 0 from 4.

Saints Women:
Tries: Channy Crowl (7).
Goals: Faye Gaskin 1 from 1.

Half Time: 4-6
Full Time: 16-6


1. Rebecca Greenfield; 5. Michelle Davis, 24. Vanessa Temple, 4. Georgia Wilson, 20. Alison Burrows; 6. Gemma Walsh, 7. Sarah Harrison; 23. Lucy Baggaley, 26. Claire Hall, 10. Jeanie Aspin, 15. Gemma Hennesey, 12. Holly Speak, 13. Rachel Thompson.
Subs: 8. Chloe Hammond, 9. Charlotte Foley, 17. Hannah Goodburn, 18. Emily Dwyer, 19. Kate McMillan, 25. Amanda Sibald.

1. Zoe Harris; 2. Charlotte Hill, 3. Naomi Williams, 4. Katie-May Williams, 5. Leah Burke; 6. Carys Marsh, 7. Faye Gaskin; 8. Sarah Lovejoy, 9. Tara Jones (C), 10. Dawn Taylor, 11. Roxy Mura, 12. Emily Rudge, 13. Channy Crowl.
Subs: 14. Pip Birchall, 15. Isabelle Rudge, 16. Lizzie Gladman, 17. Vicky Whitfield.