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The Women’s Challenge Cup Final, the first game of a superb Elland Road triple header, saw the top two female sides in the country up against one another as St Helens faced the Leeds Rhinos for the first silverware of the season.

The game was played out in front of the BBC TV cameras and shown live to the nation on BBC2 and what a great advert for the game, and specifically the women´s game it was.

Saints knocked the Rhinos out at the semi-final stage last season before going on to beat York in the final and the Rhinos were runners up to Saints in the Women´s Super League last season. It really was a match between the two best and most successful sides in the Women´s game.

Leeds had the first possession but on three minutes a high kick was fumbled by Fran Goldthorp giving Saints a set on the Rhino line. Two plays in and Saints threw the ball into touch, both sides showing some early game nerves on the big occasion.

A tremendous thirty metre run from loose forward Zoe Hornby on fourteen saw her carry Jodie Cunningham over the line to force the ball onto the ground for the opening try of the game to give the Rhinos the lead, the first try Saints had conceded in this season’s competition. Courtney Winfield-Hill added the conversion for a 6-0 Rhinos lead.

The Rhinos had the upper hand and were defending solidly, diffusing every Saints attack.

Somehow, Beth Stott stopped Georgia Roche from grounding under the sticks off a Winfield-Hill high kick on twenty-tree to save a certain Leeds try.

Six minutes from the interval and Saints were right back in the game, a little against the run of play, when Leah Burke found herself in plenty of space to take a Zoe Harris high kick to the corner and ground in the right corner. Beth Stott was unable to convert from the touchline.

With just seconds of the first half remaining, Winfield-Hill kicked a thirty-five-minute penalty goal to double the half-time lead to 8-4 after a highly competitive first half.

An awful mix up in the Rhinos defence on forty-eight gifted Saints their second try as two Leeds defenders failed to deal with a kick through allowing Eboni Partington to pick up the ball and dot it down over the line. Stott was again unable to add the extras, the two sides tied up at 8-8 with half an hour remaining.

A poor penalty miss from Winfield-Hill on sixty-three spurned the chance of the lead for the Rhinos and as Saints returned the ball Jodie Cunningham crashed the Rhinos line to give Saints the lead as you visibly saw the Rhinos players heads drop to their chests. Stott added the goal, her first of the game, for a 14-8 lead.

With three minutes remaining Saints sealed the win to retain the trophy as Partington went over for her second of the game taking an Amy Hardcastle pass before juggling the ball and grounding in the left-hand corner. Stott missed her fourth kick of the afternoon, but it mattered nought as Saints lifted the trophy after an arm-wrestle of a game.

Saints did what Saints do, the absorbed the Rhinos pressure and as their opponents tired they hit them with a couple of quick and well worked tries to steal a game where they had looked second best for long periods. Leeds can hold their heads up high as they played their part in a  great game to entertain a good crowd in the stadium and an even larger audience on the TV.

St Helens: Rotherham, Partington (2T), Hardcastle, Roberts, Burke (T), Stott (G), Harris, Rudge I, Jones, Crowl, Travis, Williams, Cunningham (T). Subs: Whitefield, Rudge E, Sandham, Woosey.

Leeds Rhinos: Goldthorp, Gaines, Butcher, Beevers, Hulme, Roche, Winfield-Hill (2G), Anderson, Bennett, Staveley, Kerrigan, Watson, Hornby (T). Subs: Lumley, Lacey, McCallion, Barnes.

Half-Time: 4-8.

Full-Time: 18-8.

Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 4-6, 4-8: HT : 8-8, 12-8, 14-8, 18-8 : FT.

Crowd: 5,888.

Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.

Referee:  Liam Rush.




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 7th May 2022 1:41 PM | Views : 7150 | Replies : 2 | BACK TO STORIES
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RLFANS Match Centre

TABLES:
Matches on TV
Sat 28th May
CC2022 RND: 9
15:00
Wigan-Huddersfield
1895 RND: 3
12:00
Featherstone-Leigh
Thu 2nd Jun
CH RND: 13
12:30
Workington-LondonB
Fri 3rd Jun
SL RND: 14
20:00
Warrington-Leeds
Sat 4th Jun
SL RND: 14
14:00
Castleford-Wigan
Mon 6th Jun
CH RND: 14
19:45
Featherstone-Bradford
Fri 10th Jun
SL RND: 15
20:00
Salford-Wigan
Sat 11th Jun
SL RND: 15
18:00
Catalans-Hull FC
Mon 13th Jun
CH RND: 15
19:45
Leigh-Featherstone
Sat 18th Jun
MINT2022 RND: 1
17:30
England-ALL STARS
WINT2022 RND: 1
15:00
ENGLAND-FRANCE
Thu 23rd Jun
SL RND: 16
20:00
St.Helens-Leeds
Fri 24th Jun
SL RND: 16
20:00
Warrington-Hull FC
Sun 26th Jun
SL RND: 16
15:15
Hull KR-Huddersfield
Mon 27th Jun
CH RND: 16
19:45
Barrow-Halifax
Fri 1st Jul
SL RND: 17
20:00
Castleford-Huddersfield
Sat 2nd Jul
SL RND: 17
18:00
Catalans-St.Helens
Fri 8th Jul
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19:45
Newcastle-Bradford
Sat 9th Jul
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19:00
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16:45
St.Helens-Wigan
Fri 27th May
NRL RND: 12 Penrith22-0NQL Cowboys
Thu 26th May
NRL RND: 12 Melbourne28-8Manly
Mon 23rd May
CH RND: 12 Sheffield34-24Widnes
Sun 22nd May
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CH RND: 12 Dewsbury18-20Barrow
CH RND: 12 Leigh58-6Workington
CH RND: 12 York24-40Halifax
NRL RND: 11 Souths12-32Canberra
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WLS2022G2 RND: 2 BradfordW12-8LeighW
WLS2022G2 RND: 2 Wire W86-0WakefieldW
WLS2022G2 RND: 2 FeatherstoneW56-6CastlefordW
Sat 21st May
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CH RND: 12 Featherstone78-0Whitehaven
NRL RND: 11 St.George24-18NZ Warriors
NRL RND: 11 NQL Cowboys36-6Melbourne
NRL RND: 11 Sydney12-32Penrith
L1 RND: 9 Swinton54-16Cornwall
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Betfred Championship 2022 ROUND : 12
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Featherstone 12 488 146 342 23
Leigh 12 482 92 390 22
York 12 300 206 94 18
Halifax 12 338 200 138 16
Batley 11 254 205 49 15
Barrow 12 235 272 -37 15
 
Sheffield 11 280 228 52 12
Bradford 12 252 255 -3 12
Widnes 12 287 324 -37 10
Newcastle 12 242 298 -56 10
Whitehaven 12 182 422 -240 6
Dewsbury 12 169 386 -217 4
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Keighley 8 319 66 253 16
Crusaders 8 335 106 229 16
Rochdale 9 376 200 176 14
Swinton 8 346 131 215 12
Doncaster 9 264 242 22 10
Hunslet 8 226 168 58 9
 
Oldham 7 222 160 62 5
Midlands 8 222 261 -39 4
West Wales 8 60 462 -402 2
LondonS 7 92 374 -282 0
Cornwall 8 106 398 -292 0
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Betfred Super League XXVII ROUND : 13
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St.Helens 13 308 126 182 22
Catalans 13 290 172 118 20
Wigan 13 332 271 61 18
Huddersfield 13 289 226 63 17
Hull FC 13 284 230 54 16
Castleford 13 285 288 -3 12
 
Hull KR 13 210 256 -46 12
Warrington 13 268 310 -42 10
Salford 13 263 312 -49 10
Leeds 13 193 246 -53 9
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Toulouse 13 202 361 -159 4
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Penrith 11 322 189 133 18
NQL Cowboys 11 287 131 156 16
Cronulla 11 244 186 58 14
Brisbane 11 233 181 52 14
Parramatta 11 281 233 48 14
Sydney 11 233 200 33 12
Souths 11 236 235 1 10
 
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Manly 11 212 252 -40 10
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