Curtain-raisers on big stages are important for women’s game, says Castleford coach Lindsay Anfield

Drew Darbyshire

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

Castleford coach Lindsay Anfield would like to see more women’s games used as curtain-raisers for men’s matches.

The Tigresses lost their first game of the season as they fell short to a 16-10 defeat against Leeds in the Challenge Cup final on Saturday,

The final was held at the University of Bolton Stadium as a curtain-raiser to the men’s semi-finals, with a good crowd watching the women’s game beforehand.

Anfield commented: “I took my Cas hat off and I thought ‘this is great for women’s rugby league’.

“There were people wearing Warrington shirts cheering and that’s what bringing this game to Bolton was all about.

“The whole point of playing this game today was to promote the women’s game and if we were part of that then I’m happy, despite the loss.

“It introduces the game to more people rather than when it is just a stand-alone game – you just get women’s fans and that’s it but it’s important for everyone else to see what the women’s rugby league community is all about. It’s important that we showcase it on a wider stage.”

Hollie Dodd make her first-team debut for Castleford in the final. She turned 16 the day before the game and was therefore eligible to play.

Anfield added: “We threw her in on the wing and she’s not a winger.

“She’s a second-rower and likes playing in the middle but she’s only trained with us for a few months and she hasn’t played any games.

“Wing was a good place for her to start and Leeds identified that – they kicked to her a few times and got a bit of joy but I think Hollie held her own.

“I was really impressed with her and she didnt let the pressure get to her. She was probably one of our best players.”

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