Wakefield Trinity Ladies unbeaten start to the 2018 season came to an end this weekend when they took on the arduous task of facing Women’s Super League high fliers Leeds Rhinos Women in the first round of the Challenge Cup.
Wakefield welcomed out of retirement former England captain Natalie Gilmour MBE into the starting lineup. Gilmour the sister of Wakefield assistant coach Lee added some big match experience to bolster the team for the mammoth task.
Despite what the one sided result might suggest Trinity, who currently ply their trade in the Championship league, controlled the opening exchanges.
It was Wakefield who had the first opportunity to open the scoring when centre Lisa Taylor was halted just short of the line after a nice play from Gilmour carved open the Leeds defence.
The grid lock continued for the opening quarter and Leeds who boast several international players were becoming frustrated with being unable to break the Trinity line. Some sterling defense from hooker Kelsey Armistead, second rowers Hannah Watt and captain Beci Brierley.
It was Leeds’ superior fitness and conditioning which saw the game swing in the direction of the hosts as Wakefield were unable to step up the gears to the new pace of the game.
Full back Charlotte Booth was the player to open the floodgates for the Rhinos shrugging off several tired defenders. Scrum half Courtney Hill added her first of 9 conversion in the afternoon.
That breakthrough for the hosts visually deflated Wakefield’s early confidence and Leeds went in for another 3 quick fire tries from Hill, Forsell and Sophie Robinson.
22 points down and with ten minutes of the half remaining Wakefield were looking to hold out for the interval but a strong kick return from Caitlin Beevers saw her go 70 metres and take a commanding 28-0 lead into the break.
Trinity started the second half stronger than they ended the first and although they couldn’t contain the Rhinos completely they managed to stem the flow.
Some great last line defence from full back Amy Brinkley stopped several sure fire tries, but inevitably Rhinos class shone through as they ran in 5 more converted seconds half tries.
Rhiannon Marshall opening the second half scoring, Suze Hill scored a quick double inside of 10 minutes and Courtney Hill got her second of the game.
In the closing stages of the game, Shannon Lacey completed the scoring, powering through a tired Trinity defence to cap off the comprehensive 58-0 victory.
Trinity Girls and Women’s RL Ambassador Natalie Gilmour MBE was pleased with how the side started the game saying “For the first 25 minutes I thought there wasn’t much between the two teams.”
“With Leeds being in the Super League I think it was there fitness that told in the end. When you start getting fatigued, ball handle skills drop and the defensive line breaks down and thats what happened in the end with us. I was really proud of the girls efforts of how we started that game.“
Gilmour joined the team recently as an Ambassador and mentor to the female program at Trinity in their quest to build for 2019, the former England captain said “I think the loss will do us some good in the long run, in the division were in at the minute we’ve been playing really well and winning quite comfortably in some of the games. So to lose the game and see the standard we need to achieve for next season.”
“Wayne (Hirst) asked me if I’d get my boots back to offer some experience to the girls when they were up against some strong Super League opposition. Hardest thing I ever did was retiring because I loved it. I enjoyed the game but my role at Wakefield is to help the girls here prepare for next season.
The Wakefield Trinity Ladies will be looking to bounce back to winning ways this weekend when they get back to league action in the Championship where they remain unbeaten.
Final score: Leeds Rhinos 58, Wakefield Trinity 0
LEEDS RHINOS: 1 Charlotte Booth. 2 Suze Hill, 3 Manilla Spurr, 4 Sophie Robinson, 5 Caitlin Beevers, 6 Hanna Butcher, 7 Courtney Hill, 8 Amy Johnson, 9 Lois Forsell, 10 Dannielle Anderson, 11 Aime Staveley, 12 Larisa Deaves, 13 Shannon Lacey
Subs: 14 Beth Lockwood, 15 Ellie Oldroyd, 16 Madison Laverick, 17 Frankie Townend, 18 Sophie Nuttal, 19 Rhiannion Marshall
Tries: Charlotte Booth (21), Courtney Hill (25,62), Lois Forsell (29), Sophie Robinson (30), Caitlin Beevers (40), Rhiannion Marshall (47), Suze Hill (50,57), Shannon Lacy (72)
Conversions: Courtney Hill 9/10
WAKEFIELD TRINITY: 1 Amy Brinkley, 2 Saskia Lewis, 3 Lisa Taylor, 4 Michala Reith, 5 Dani Rose, 6 Beci Brierley, 7 Georgia Cutt, 8 Jordan Catling, 9 Kelsey Armistead, 10 Phillippa Lockhart, 11 Hannah Watt, 12 Claire Reynard, 13 Danielle Swaine
Subs: 14 Nicole Austin-Dyson, 15 Maisie Rodgers, 16 Jessie Matthews, 17 Natalie Gilmour, 18 Lauran Groves, 19 Kellymarie Hall, 20 Cody Tissiman.
Challenge Cup Round 1 Results
York City Knights 68, Widnes Vikings 0
Hull Wyke 0, Army 84
Leigh Miners Rangers 6, Wigan Warriors 72
Leeds Rhinos 58, Wakefield Trinity 0
Bradford Bulls 14, Castleford Tigers 32
Featherstone Rovers 38, Stanningley 12
Barrow 62, Brighouse Rangers 10
St Helens 78, Hull FC 0
Wakefield host Widnes Vikings in a celebration of Women’s and Girls rugby league at the Mobile Rocket Stadium on Sunday 10th.
The Stadium opens at 12noon with community club girls team playing as a curtain raiser to the Ladies fixture which kicks off at 2pm.
Admission on the day is just £3 Adults/Concessions and £1 for under 16s. Wakefield Trinity season ticket holders can enter for free.
The Club are pleased to announce that any adult supporter who attends the Wakefield Trinity Ladies game can pick up a £12 ticket from the Stadium shop for the Catalans Dragons fixture on Saturday 7th July.