Women’s round-up: Castleford nil Leeds, Wigan win first game, St Helens remain unbeaten

Sebastian Sternik

Photo courtesy of Melanie Allatt

It proved to be an eventful weekend in the Women’s Super League, with all eight sides in action.

The headline fixture took place at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle as Castleford Tigers took on Leeds Rhinos in a continuation of a fierce rivalry from the previous season.

In front of a record crowd of 703, the Tigresses ran out 27-0 winners, ending their four-match losing run against the Challenge Cup holders.

Woman of the match, Kelsey Gentles, scored a brace as Georgia Roche, Sinead Peach and former Leeds Rhinos star Rhiannion Marshall also made the scoresheet. Three conversions and a drop-goal from Tara Stanley added to the total.

The visitors threatened on a number of occasions but lacked a clinical edge as the Tigresses held them to zero points.

Speaking after the victory, Castleford’s head coach Lindsay Anfield said: “I’m really pleased that we managed to keep their score to zero but I still think our performance needs a bit of polishing and a bit of work.

“It was pleasing to see a big crowd down at the Jungle. It’s something that we really want to push and increase the crowds for the girls. Both us and Leeds are doing a great job in engaging the spectators and growing the sport.”

Elsewhere, defending champions Wigan Warriors picked up their first win of the season following a comprehensive 62-0 away win over York City Knights.

Rachel Thompson was the star of the show as her four tries helped the Cherry and Whites to their first competitive win since the 2018 Grand Final.

Georgia Wilson scored a brace for the Warriors as further efforts from Amanda Sibbald, Gemma Walsh, Sarah Harrison, Jade Grace-Holding and Vicky Molyneux secured the two points for Amanda Wilkinson’s side.

In the early kick-off over at Odsal, Bradford Bulls continued to impress as they ran out 58-6 winners over newbies Wakefield Trinity.

Four tries from Sarah Dunn, a hat-trick from Amy Hardcastle and further efforts from Stacey Greenwood, Savannah Andrade, Millie Taylor and Leah Jones sealed a second win of the season for the 2017 champions.

A single try from Georgia Cutt ensured some points for Wakefield however, the defeat means Trinity now drop to sixth in the table.

In the fourth and final game of the weekend, Jodie Cunningham played a starring role for St Helens as Derek Hardman’s side maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 54-16 win over Featherstone Rovers.

Cunningham’s hat-trick followed by tries from Tara Jones, Naomi Williams, Zoe Harris, Leah Burke and England captain Emily Rudge sealed yet another impressive victory.

Featherstone had their own good moments and score three times through Zoe Teece, Grace Hepton and Katie Hepworth.

Nevertheless, the victory for Saints now sets up a blockbuster of a contest on May 12, when the team travel over to West Yorkshire to take on league leaders Castleford at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.