Betfred Womens Super League
Sun 8th Oct 2023 KO: 15:00 RD: final
Leeds Rhinos Women
T. Stanley x2
By Sam Brocksom
After a thrilling encounter, Leeds Rhinos Women have fallen short in the BWSL Grand Final, after a 16-6 defeat to York Valkyrie.
Lois Forsell named an unchanged side following the late semi-final win over St Helens. Nine of the 17 played in last years final, a 12-4 victory over the Valkyrie.
Caitlin Beevers thought she had the first points of the game just three minutes in. The centre found herself over the line but after a video referee review, she was deemed to have knocked the ball on.
Her opposite number, Tamzin Renouf, was the person to break the deadlock 10 minutes later. The Valkyrie centre found herself in space with an overlap, and used her strength to grab the try. Tara-Jane Stanley’s conversion was wide, and the home side led by four.
The game was end-to-end all the way through the first half, with both side having field position in good areas. Neither side could capitalise on it, until the final play of the half where Stanley would find a gap on the right edge, doubling her side’s advantage. Her conversion fell short and the scores remained 8-0 at half time.
As the sides came back out, it was Leeds who started the better of the two sides. Kaiya Glynn with a superb break put Leeds on the front foot. York gave away a high tackle, which gave Ruby Enright the chance to get Leeds on the board with a penalty kick. She converted, and it became a one-score game.
Three quarters into the game and the scores remained the same. The Rhinos were giving it all they had and weren’t giving up. An unfortunate penalty gave Stanley the chance to gain two points and that she did. Shortly after, Lacey Owen crashed over from short range. This gave Valkyrie a 14-point lead with 15 minutes left on the clock.
The Rhinos had plenty of field position to try and fight back, but the execution on the final pass just wasn’t there. Keara Bennett tried to kick through for herself, and despite a repeat set due to a York error, Leeds just couldn’t get over the line.
That was until the final play of the game where Caitlin Casey spotted a gap through the defence to score a consolation try. That meant the final score would be 16-6 to the home side, and a new name would be put on the trophy for the Betfred Women’s Super League.