Leeds Rhinos 16, St Helens 30: Rhinos slump to Women's Super League defeat

A poor second half performance condemned Leeds Rhinos to a 30-16 defeat by St Helens in Sunday’s  Women’s Super League curtain-raiser at Emerald Headingley.

Sunday, 21st July 2019, 2:08 pm
Rhinos captain and try scorer Courtney Hill

Rhinos' second defeat of the season left them third in the table, but they are now two points adrift of Saints who they beat a fortnight ago in a Challenge Cup semi-final.

Leeds - who face Castleford Tigers in the Cup final next Saturday - hit back twice to snatch a 12-10 interval lead, but weren’t in the game in the second half.

Saints went ahead after just two minutes through Jodie Cunningham who nipped over from acting-half close to Rhinos' line.

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That was cancelled out by Shannon Lacey who scored a similar try five minutes later, converted by Courtney Hill.

The visitors regained the advantage on 16 minutes as Leah Burke who squeezed over at the corner and Faye Gaskin landed a touchline conversion.

A moment of quality proved the difference between the teams in the opening stanza, moments after Tasha Gaines had been held up over Saints’ line.

An error led to a scrum 20 metres out and Hill ghosted through from the base for a fine touchdown which she also improved, but Rhinos found themselves 10 point down within 12 minutes of the resumption.

Gaskin crossed between the posts and added the extras just a minute into the second half after Leeds’ defence failed to deal with Chantelle Crowl’s kick, then Crowl crossed following back to back penalties.

Gaskin converted and added a penalty before Crowl went over for her second try late on and the scrum-half’s fifth goal completed Saints' scoring.

Hill scored her second solo try on the final play of the game, but her kick bounced away off an upright.

Leeds Rhinos: Beevers, Goldthorp, Kerrigan, Robinson, Nuttall. Butcher, C Hill, Anderson, Bennett, Johnson, Frain, Staveley, Lacey. Subs Webster, Priim, Gaines, Harriman.

St Helens: Rotherham, L Burke, R Burke, Avenall, Williams, Harris, Gaskin, Lovejoy, Cunningham, Whitfield, Rudge, Birchall, Crowl. Subs Stott, Mullaney, Gladman, Jones.