• Leeds Rhinos Women
  • 22 - 4

  • Bradford Bulls Women
  • Leeds Rhinos Women
  • HT 6 - 4
  • Bradford Bulls Women
30th August 2019 | KO 19:30 | Leeds Rugby Academy, Kirkstall | Women's Super League

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Match Preview: Leeds Rhinos Women vs Bradford Bulls Women

Following defeat to league leaders Castleford Tigers Women at Emerald Headingley two weeks ago, Leeds Rhinos Women are back in action this Friday as Adam Cuthbertson’s side take on local rivals Bradford Bulls Women at the Leeds Rugby Academy, Kirkstall, kick off 7:30pm.

It was a close encounter when both sides met at Odsal Stadium earlier in the season, with Leeds coming away 18-6 victors thanks to tries from Fran GoldthorpCharlotte Booth and Chloe Kerrigan.

Ahead of Friday night’s clash with the Bulls, Leeds Rhinos Women’s head coach Adam Cuthbertson said he is wary of the threats within the Bulls’ team.

“I think Bradford are one of our biggest rivals throughout the season,” he commented. “It was the first fixture that we played when the team was established last year and that game set the platform for us in how we go forward and develop.

“It should be an exciting spectacle and I’m really looking forward to seeing the girls out there at Kirkstall on the 3G pitch and hopefully we can bounce back from the loss against Castleford in a positive manner. The thing about Bradford is that if you don’t turn up against them, they can get really physical.

“They like to play a dominant game so I think the best way to play them is to restrict the amount of ball they have in our half. If we don’t stick to that then we need to prepare for a tough game.”

With injury to centre Sophie Robinson, Cuthbertson admitted his squad does need to be restructured but didn’t rule out calling up more Under-19s players to the first team, following the success of Fran Goldthorp and Keara Bennett this season.

“I think we missed the likes of Hanna Butcher, who was unavailable against Castleford, who gives so much defensively, notably in the Challenge Cup Final. We also have to decide what we’re doing with the right edge in terms of attack and defence, due to the loss of Sophie Robinson, so there will be some restructuring going on.

“We’ve looked into the 19s but there is only so much you can ask of them. They are young girls, Keara is only 16, so you’ve got to be really smart with the way you manage them in terms of their playing time otherwise it could damage their career. We’ve got to be careful and mindful of the way that we bring them through the system in that sense.”

More Information

Gates Open – 6pm

Ticket Prices – Minimum suggested donation of £5 for adults and concessions (senior citizens 65 & over and students) / FREE for Juniors aged 16 & under. Cash only on match day – tickets are not pre-sold.

Programmes – Team sheets will be handed out for free on arrival

Viewing areas – Standing around the pitch perimeter. There is no seating available.

Parking – Limited, first come, first served. There is no charge to park. If there is no parking available at the venue, then fans must park in surrounding areas. Parking is available at Morrisons but at own risk. Limited Disabled Parking will be available onsite.

Food and Drink – There are no onsite facilities however, there are a range of shops within a short distance from the pitch for fans to purchase food and drink. Fans cannot bring their own alcohol onsite.

Dogs – Dogs are not allowed at the venue with exception of Guide Dogs.

Live Streaming – There will be NO live streaming of this game on Facebook or YouTube

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Leeds Rhinos Women 22 Bradford Bulls Women 4

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Leeds Rhinos Women 22 Bradford Bulls Women 4

By Matthew Wright

It was a positive start from the Rhinos against their closest geographical rivals, with an improvised Amy Johnson kick forcing a goal line drop out that would eventually shape the first try.

Courtney Hill receiving the ball to the left of the sticks before crabbing across the line and throwing a fantastic cut out pass, to an unmarked Fran Goldthorp to open the scoring, Hill converting from the sideline.

Leeds would test their muscle on the right edge for their next try scoring opportunity, Courtney Hill launching a hanging kick to the corner, Laverick gathering the kick in but held up over the line by the Bradford winger.

Laverick would be denied a second time minutes later in near identical fashion, Hill once more the creator off the boot but the linesman with a clear look to deny the winger a second time.

Bradford were applying the pressure all the way through the latter stages of the half and it would eventually pay off, the Bulls creating the space on the right edge and Bailey Alexander tip-toeing into the corner on the last play of the half, Bradford unable to convert. 6-4 Rhinos at halftime.

It would be a shaky start to the second half for the Rhinos, conceding a penalty on the opening tackle, putting the home-side immediately on the back foot but Leeds holding firm once more.

The game had descended into a frantic arm wrestle by the middle of the second half, both teams trading; attacks, field position and errors but neither side prevailing to break the deadlock.

On the 68th minute the Bulls defence finally buckled, Courtney Hill drawing the defence one way and releasing an on-rushing Caitlin Beevers back up the middle to score under the posts, Hill converting the try she created and the Leeds nerves began to subside.

Inevitably a Leeds side with it’s tails up were bound to register more points before the klaxon. Madison Laverick on the receiving end of a Courtney Hill cut-out ball, the winger squeezing into the corner, the Bulls unable to be deny her for a third time. Hill nailing her third successful conversion of the night to push Leeds to an 18-4 lead.

Courtney Hill wasn’t done torturing the Bulls just yet, with two minutes remaining on the clock the hot-stepping half danced her way over for a try of her own to secure a Leeds 22-4 win over a strong Bradford outfit.

Rhinos:

Caitlin Beevers, Fran Goldthorp, Chloe Kerrigan, Lori Halloran, Madison Laverick, Hanna Butcher, Courtney Hill, Dannielle Anderson, Tasha Gaines, Amy Johnson, Aimee Staveley, Char Booth, Shannon Lacey, Ellie Oldroyd, Elle Frain, Abby Eatock, Paige Webster