Saints v Leeds Rhinos
Saints Women have won their second Challenge Cup trophy in a row after a 18-8 victory over Leeds Rhinos at Elland Road on Saturday afternoon!
After a tight period to start the game, Leeds took the lead in the 15th minute. Zoe Hornby made a big break down the heart of the Saints defence, she then dove for the try-line and was able to ground the ball. Courtney Winfield-Hill converted to make it 6-0.
Saints responded six minutes before the break. A high kick from Zoe Harris towards the right corner was collected by Leah Burke who went over to score, the try was awarded after a video referee review. Beth Stott missed the conversion, so Saints trailed 6-4.
That looked to be the score at the break, but a minute before the hooter Leeds were awarded a penalty just over 30 metres out, Winfield-Hill once again adding the points to give them an 8-4 lead at the break.
Saints upped the tempo in the second half, and got a reward for their efforts in the 49th minute. Stott put in a kick close to the Rhinos line and the hosts were unable to collect the ball cleanly, Eboni Partington collected the loose ball first and once again, after a video referee review, the try was given. Stott missed the conversion, so the scores were tied at 8-8.
A big moment in the game came in the 63rd minute, Winfield-Hill had a penalty to the right of the sticks which would have put the Rhinos into the lead with not long to go, but she missed it so the Saints survived. It was to prove crucial, one minute later Jodie Cunningham got the ball ten metres out from the Leeds line, she drove the ball forward and managed to ground the ball despite Leeds’ determination to stop her. Stott added the extras to make it 14-8 as we approached the final few minutes.
Saints cemented their victory with two minutes to go. The worked the ball from right to left from under the sticks, the ball went through the hands of Tara Jones, she found Stott, who found Cunningham, she found Amy Hardcastle and she made a mini break to get the ball away to Partington and she dove over to score the final try of the game. Stott missed the conversion but it did not matter, as Saints beat Leeds 18-8 at Elland Road to retain their Challenge Cup Crown!
Leeds Rhinos Women Team: Francesca Goldthorp, Natasha Gaines, Hanna Butcher, Caitlin Beevers, Samantha Hulme, Georgia Roche, Courtney Winfield-Hill, Danielle Anderson, Keara Bennett, Aimee Staveley, Chloe Kerrigan, Elychia Watson, Zoe Hornby.
Interchanges: Emma Lumley, Shannon Lacey, Orla McCallion, Alexandra Barnes.
Tries: Zoe Hornby (15)
Conversions: Courtney Winfield-Hill (1 from 1)
Penalties: Courtney Winfield-Hill (1 from 2)
Saints Women Team: Rebecca Rotheram, Leah Burke, Carrie Roberts, Amy Hardcastle, Eboni Partington, Zoe Harris, Beth Stott, Isabelle Rudge, Tara Jones, Chantelle Crowl, Naomi Williams, Paige Travis, Jodie Cunningham.
Interchanges: Alice Sandham, Emily Rudge, Victoria Whitfield, Rachael Woosey.
Tries: Leah Burke (34), Eboni Partington (49, 78), Jodie Cunningham (64)
Conversions: Beth Stott (1 from 4)