Rhinos Women back in blockbuster double header on Sunday
SL.Rd16. Saints v Rhinos. Thurs23rdJune2022. © MATTHEW MERRICK PHOTOGRAPHY (1)
The race for the League Leaders’ Shield is hotting up in the Betfred Women’s Super League and two teams that are involved, Leeds Rhinos and St Helens, meet in a must-see match at Headingley Stadium on Sunday, kick off 12:30pm.
As part of another special double header that will see the Women’s team open proceedings before the Men’s side clash with Salford Red Devils, Lois Forsell’s Rhinos are in top spot Betfred Women’s Super League table, above York City Knights on points difference alone, while Saints sit in third with six points, plus a game in hand.
The Rhinos claimed top spot in style last week with a resounding 82-0 win on the road against Huddersfield Giants. Fran Goldthorp, Caitlin Beevers, Georgia Roche, Tasha Gaines, Courtney Winfield-Hill and Sophie Robinson all led the scoring with two tries each, with Goldthorp becoming the club’s leading try scorer for the season with eleven. Jasmine Earnshaw-Cudjoe also recorded her second try of the season, her first came in the win over Saints earlier this season, while Aimee Staveley, Hanna Butcher and Chloe Kerrigan, who was celebrating her 50th appearance for the club, also added tries on a memorable afternoon.
St Helens did the Rhinos a favour as they boosted their own hopes of retaining a second piece of silverware in 2022 by beating the Knights at the weekend too. A low scoring match saw the Red Vee take the lead after two minutes through Zoe Harris, before Ashleigh Hyde replied for the visitors. With the game on a knife’s edge, another early score from Tara Jones proved to be enough as Derek Hardman’s side held on for a 12-4 result.
With only three rounds left, Saints are four points behind Leeds and York but they have the slight advantage of playing each week until the regular season ends. Both the Rhinos and Knights have a bye week between now and the end of the season, plus they both play each other in what could be the defining match before the teams enter the Play Offs.
Ones to Watch
England international centre Amy Hardcastle was one of ten Saints players called up for the recent friendly against France and is a wrecking ball on the edge.
After joining from Bradford Bulls, she was a crucial player when Saints lifted all three trophies last season, finishing the year with 23 tries. She is one of eight players that has started every game this year for Hardman’s side and has four tries to her name.
A power forward, Chantelle Crowl is another player that has been ever-present for Saints in 2022.
Awarded the player of the match in last year’s Grand Final victory over the Rhinos, she has continued her consistent performances into this year and was part of the squad that lifted the Challenge Cup for a second successive year at Elland Road.
One of the brightest young talents in the game, Travis had a great breakout season with Saints in 2021. Debuting for the club in 2019, her six tries in twelve games last year earned her plenty of plaudits and an England shirt.
In this year’s League competition, she has only missed one game and scored her sole try of the season against Wigan in round one.
Leeds Rhinos Women
07/08 Vs St Helens (Headingley Stadium, KO 12:30pm)
14/08 BYE WEEK
28/08 Vs York City Knights (Headingley Stadium, KO 1pm)
St Helens Women
07/08 Vs Leeds Rhinos (Headingley Stadium, KO 12:30pm)
14/08 Vs Huddersfield Giants (Huddersfield YMCA, KO 2pm)
28/08 Vs Wigan Warriors (Robin Park, KO 2pm)
Last Time Out
If the last meeting between the two sides is going to be replicated on Sunday, Rugby League fans are in for a treat.
When Leeds and St Helens clashed at the Totally Wicked Stadium in June, a last minute sensational try from Fran Goldthorp gave the Rhinos their first win against Saints since 2019. A nail-biting game was held in the balance after Forsell’s side recovered from 14-0 down to draw level in the second half. Then after Tara Jones gave the home side hope, Goldthorp struck to give Courtney Winfield-Hill the chance to win the game with her conversion, which she subsequently converted to make the finals score 20-18.
Centre/winger Sophie Robinson is closing in on 100 points in the Betfred Women’s Super League.
Over four seasons at the club, she has amassed 92 points, or 23 tries, over 34 league appearances. She moved a step closer to the milestone with two tries against the Giants last weekend.
Continuing in her breakout season, Hornby is able to pass both a WSL and club milestone this week.
She is currently six points away from scoring her 50th point in the top tier of Women’s Rugby League, plus two points takes her to 50 points for the Rhinos club.
After scoring her 200th Rhinos goal in last week’s win over the Giants, Courtney Winfield-Hill has the chance to reach another milestone this week.
The half back, who scored 26 of Leeds’ 82 points against Huddersfield, is twelve points away from reaching 400 points in the Betfred Women’s Super League competition.
England international Beevers can pass two club milestones against Saints on Sunday. The outside back, who came through the club’s academy to debut in the Rhinos’ inaugural season, is three tries away from 50 Rhinos tries (she has scored 30 in the league and 17 in the Challenge Cup), plus she is also ten points away from surpassing 200 Rhinos points.
It’s our Family Day!
Get ready for our fun-filled, action-packed family day at Headingley Stadium on Sunday!
There is everything from stormtroopers, to ponies, to even a triceratops positioned all around the ground, as well as our Rugby League double header which sees Leeds Rhinos Women clash with St Helens before the men’s team tackle Salford Red Devils.
Plus, juniors can get into any stand in the ground for just £5!