Women’s Super League round-up: Saints beat champions Wigan, Leeds and Castleford claim big wins

Sebastian Sternik

We have rounded-up the action from the opening weekend of the women’s season… 

Sin bins, fights, late winners! All hell broke loose when St Helens and Wigan locked horns at Robins Park.

This was a game billed as the ‘one to watch’ in the opening round of the Women’s Super League and it certainly lived up to the hype. 

In the end, Saints claimed a slender 6-4 victory however, there’s a lot more to this story than that. 

Wigan, who are the defending Women’s Super League champions, got an early try on the board. A kick from Gemma Walsh was collected and converted into four points by team-mate Alison Burrows. 

With around 15 minutes to go until the interval, Leah Burke hit back for the visitors. With the scores tied at 4-4, the second half was always going to be hotly contested. 

Neither side was able to find a breakthrough after the break. Rebecca Greenfield thought she sent Wigan in front, only to see her effort ruled out for a knock on. Saints also had two tries ruled out down the left wing after going into touch. 

 For 40 minutes both teams saw chances come and go as the clock continues to tick away. However, when tempers eventually reached tipping point, it was the home side who paid the price. 

First, Michelle Davis was sent to the sidelines after receiving a yellow card. Then, with seconds remaining until the final hooter, a fight in the middle of the park saw another Wigan player sent to the bin. 

 Saints opted to go for the two points leaving Faye Gaskin to finish the game. The England international showed cold blood as she sent the ball between the sticks leaving her team mates to burst into celebrations. 

Castleford Tigers Women top of the table 

Getting anything out of the game with Castleford Tigers was always going to be a tough task for York City Knights Ladies. However, things ended a lot worse for the home side as they were nilled on the opening day of the season. 

A total of 15 unanswered tries from a ruthless Tigers side saw them claim a huge 80-0 away victory.  

Hat-tricks from Georgie Hetherington and 17-year-old Esme Reynolds, braces from Lacey Owen, Tara Stanley, Grace Field and further tries from Lucy Eastwood, Kelsey Gentles and Georgia Roche sealed an emphatic win for the Tigresses. 

Castleford’s first big test comes next week against defending champions Wigan Warriors. In a hugely anticipated clash, the West Yorkshire outfit will be looking to repeat last season’s win at Robins Park when they travel there again on Sunday. 

Rhinos rock on

Wakefield Trinity made their Women’s Super League debut this weekend when they travelled away to take on the reigning Challenge Cup title holders, Leeds Rhinos. 

It proved to be a bittersweet game for the Trinity Ladies as in their path stood a Rhinos side who seem to have picked up where they left off last season. 

Tries from Caitlin Beevers, Sophie Robinson, Aimee Staveley and Dannielle Anderson saw the home side build a 34-point advantage. 

Trinity hit back just before the break thanks to Saskia Lewis who touched down in the corner. 

Unfortunately for the visitors, Leeds found another gear and scored five more tries in the second half to secure a big 58-4 win. 

Bulls avenge pre-season defeat

Featherstone Rovers were well fancied by many to claim a victory over Bradford in their opening game of the 2019 season. Just three weeks ago, Rovers shocked the 2017 Super League winners when they picked up a 16-10 win in their pre-season friendly. 

However, Bradford turned on the style and avenged that loss when it mattered. Hat-tricks for Stacey Greenwood and Amy Hardcastle helped the home side to a 38-16 win. 

Women’s round one results:

Wigan Warriors 4-6 St Helens

York City Knights Ladies 0-80 Castleford Tigers Women

Bradford Bulls 38-16 Featherstone Rovers Ladies 

Leeds Rhinos Women 54-4 Wakefield Trinity Ladies