LET’S DO it for Cuthbo. That’s Leeds Rhinos star Danielle Anderson’s rallying cry ahead of today’s Women’s Super League Grand Final.
Three years ago Adam Cuthbertson starred for Rhinos’ men when they won the treble of Challenge Cup, league leaders’ shield and Grand Final.
Now he is one game away from repeating the feet with Leeds’ women and again Wigan Warriors are the final opponents.
Both teams are in their first season, but Anderson reckons Cuthbertson’s involvement is one of the factors which has elevated Leeds above their rivals this year.
“It is great having Cuthbo on board,” said the prop-forward who played for Oulton Raidettes last year. “He is a major player in Super League so him being able to put time and effort into the women’s side is great and we really appreciate it.
“It would be great to finish off the season doing the treble for him and also the other coaching staff, to show that all the hard work they have put into us has paid off.”
Anderson, a Wakefield Trinity fan, believes backing from the Rhinos club has been another big part of the women’s team’s success. She said: “We get treated just like the men. We get the same physio, the same training facilities. For away games we get the first team bus and that’s really special, we do feel quite proud of that.
“When I played for Oulton in the Championship that was a really good team, but Leeds has been that step higher. They help us and expect more from us as well. We get everything provided for us and they expect us to behave like professionals. It is professional, we just don’t get paid for it!”
Rhinos have been beaten only twice this season, away against St Helens and at home to Wigan. They defeated Wigan in a Challenge Cup semi-final and the league and finished one point above them on the league ladder. Rhinos have the more potent attack, but Wigan’s defence conceded slightly fewer points over the league campaign.
“The games against them could have gone either way,” Anderson warned. “Obviously we have got the double and to win the treble would finish off a perfect season for us. At the start of the year when we all got together we put some goals down. At first we didn’t expect to do so well with being a brand new team, but everybody has fitted in and it has worked out well.”
Rhinos will start today’s game at Manchester Regional Arena (1pm) as narrow favourites, but Anderson stressed: “We aren’t putting a lot of pressure on ourselves. We will just play like we know we can and like the Leeds Rhinos’ women’s team do and hopefully the outcome will be what we want.”
Anderson will be teaming up with several of today’s opponents when she joins the England camp ahead of a Test in France in two weeks’ time.
“I can’t wait for it,” she enthused. “It feels like it has been a long time coming. I’ve always wanted to be in the England squad, I have dreamed of it and now I am getting the chance to go out and show what I can do.”