6th October 2019, 18:45 | womens_rugby_league
Friday's Betfred Women's Super League Grand Final will be a repeat of the Challenge Cup Final, as Castleford comfortably held off the Wigan challenge while Leeds Rhinos once again left it late at St Helens.
Just as they did in the Coral Challenge Cup Semi-final earlier in the season, the Rhinos broke Saints' hearts at the death to set up another all-Yorkshire final.
It was an absorbing contest at the Totally Wicked Stadium, the venue for Friday's Betfred Super League Grand Final, where the home side built up a good early lead with scores from Paige Travis, Leah Burke and a nice dummy effort from Zoe Harris. Saints were good value for their 14-0 lead, but crucially the Rhinos’ Abby Eatock scored just before half-time to give last years’ runners-up some momentum to take into the second half.
And it was Telegraph Woman of Steel winner, Courtney Hill, who was the first to cross after the break for the rejuvenated Rhinos.
Charlotte Booth then added her name to the scoresheet for the Rhinos as St Helens fumbled a high kick, though both conversions missed by Hill and the home side had the narrow 14-12 lead.
With time ticking down, and options looking short, Australian half-back Courtney Hill turned provider with a chip over the top, collecting and feeding Abby Eatock to steal the win in dramatic fashion in the 78th minute. Leeds Rhinos making it back-to-back Grand Finals with the 18-14 win.
League Leaders Castleford Tigers beat reigning Champions Wigan Warriors to make it a 100% winning season at their home ground the Mend-a-Hose Jungle. The victory for the Tigers means there will be a new name on the trophy as the 2019 Champions.
It was a closely contested first forty between the two heavyweights.
Castleford ran in three tries in the opening half hour as Maisie Lumb crossed, and full-back Tara Stanley scoring two great individual tries to take her tally for the season to 23. Wigan nicked one back before the half-time hooter though as Georgia Wilson crashed over on the right edge to make it 14-4. The Tigers, playing in front of a crowd of 1,449, scored four unanswered tries in the second half as they booked their spot in the Grand Final in style.
Sinead Peach was the first to dart over, before Frankie Townend found a way over the whitewash, both converted by Tara Stanley for 26-4.
Maisie Lumb added her double, with Tamzin Renouf rounding off the day and completing the 34-4 victory for Castleford. Speaking on the result, Head Coach Lindsay Anfield, said: "I thought my girls put in a really good shift today, they listened to what we’ve been saying all week and all season and we put in a really solid performance.
"These girls are learning all the time, we’ve had our ups and downs both on and off the field. I can’t fault there effort today, and the effort they have put in all season, they train hard and put a lot of hours in – you’d expect that they were professional with the amount of time they put into Castleford."
In the Championship, Warrington Wolves confirmed their Grand Final spot with a comprehensive victory over Huddersfield Giants, with scores inclusive of a Roxy Murdoch hat-trick and a Dan Bound double. Elsewhere, Barrow denied Stanningley of another Grand Final appearance as they edged a 14-12 win in a semi-final tug of war.
Full Results: Castleford Tigers 34-4 Wigan Warriors St Helens 14-18 Leeds Rhinos Warrington Wolves 36-4 Huddersfield Giants Barrow 14-12 Stanningley