Saints were beaten 22-34 by the Rhinos, in a repeat of the 2023 Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final.

Saints took the lead in the tenth minute. Faye Gaskin approached the line and found the supporting Shona Hoyle, who broke through a gap before rounding the fullback and winning the race to the try-line. Amy Taylor converted, 6-0 Saints led early on.

Leeds levelled the game ten minutes later. Hanna Butcher broke downfield which put them in great field position. Off the back of it, Saints went left and Sophie Robinson broke through a gap before stepping past Rebecca Rotheram to score next to the sticks. Sam Hulme converted, 6-6.

On the half-hour mark, the hosts re-took the lead. Georgia Sutherland carried some Rhinos defenders downfield, before finding Katie Mottershead with an offload, she found Jodie Cunningham, who found Eboni Partington, who showed her speed to race away down the left wing, before cutting inside to score under the sticks. Taylor added the extras, 12-6.

A penalty try was awarded during the final play of the half. Faye Gaskin kicked and chased her own kick, but was pulled back whilst trying to ground the ball. After a long check, the referee awarded Saints the penalty try. Taylor added the two, as Saints led 18-6 at the break.

Three minutes into the second period, Leeds responded. Beth Lockwood pushed towards the Saints line from close range and was able to reach an arm out to score. Hulme converted, 18-12.

Saints recovered their two-score lead soon after. A high Taylor kick was claimed by Partington, she found Emily Rudge, who found Naomi Williams to score in the corner. Taylor’s kick hit the post, 22-12.

Leeds then grabbed another score. Zoe Hornby broke through the middle of the Saints pack, before winning the race to the line to score under the sticks. Hulme converted, 22-18.

With ten minutes to go, the scores were tied. Leeds moved the ball right and Gaines spotted a gap and broke through it to score. Hulme missed the kick, 22-22 it was tied.

Leeds then went ahead for the first time with a few minutes to go. A low kick went under the sticks and Hornby won the race for her second try of the afternoon. Hulme converted, 22-28.

The visitors confirmed their win with the final play. A high kick was fumbled by the hosts in our own in-goal, Izzy Northrop won the race to the loose ball to grab Leeds’ sixth try. Hulme converted, as the visitors left the Totally Wicked Stadium with a 22-34 victory.

Match Summary

Saints Women: Rebecca Rotheram, Phoebe Hook, Paige Travis, Erin Stott, Eboni Partington, Amy Taylor, Faye Gaskin, Chantelle Crowl, Tara Jones, Pip Birchall, Shona Hoyle, Emily Rudge, Jodie Cunningham.

Interchanges: Naomi Williams, Vicky Whitfield, Katie Mottershead, Georgia Sutherland.

18th Player: Alyx Bridge.

Tries: Shona Hoyle (10), Eboni Partington (30), Penalty Try – Faye Gaskin (40), Naomi Williams (51)

Conversions: Amy Taylor (3 from 4)

Leeds Rhinos Women: Tasha Gaines, Tara Moxon, Sophie Robinson, Jenna Greening, Sam Hulme, Caitlin Casey, Hanna Butcher, Zoe Hornby, Keara Bennett, Kaiya Glynn, Elle Frain, Lucy Murray, Bethan Dainton.

Interchanges: Bella Sykes, Izzy Northrop, Beth Lockwood, Alice Costello.

18th Player: Sophie Nuttall.

Tries: Sophie Robinson (20), Beth Lockwood (43), Zoe Hornby (66), Tasha Gaines (70)

Conversions: Sam Hulme (5 from 6)

HT: 18-6

FT: 22-34