Sophie Nuttall: Leeds Rhinos winger suffered neck injury in Women's Super League loss to St Helens
Leeds Rhinos winger Sophie Nuttall sustained damage to her neck during the Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final defeat by St Helens, the club have confirmed.
Nuttall, 21, was hurt making a try-saving tackle late in the first half of Sunday’s showpiece at Emerald Headingley.
That led to a long delay as she was treated on the field before being taken on a stretcher to the changing rooms.
An ambulance was called and Nuttall spent the night in hospital, where tests revealed sprained ligaments in her neck.
Meanwhile, coach Lois Forsell is confident Rhinos will bounce back stronger next year following the 28-0 loss which ended their reign as champions.
It was only Rhinos’ second defeat in 2021, the other being to treble-winners Saints in a Challenge Cup semi-final.
Forsell, who took over from Adam Cuthbertson after the 2019 Grand Final, confirmed she is looking to add to the squad.
And asked if Rhinos can close the gap on Saints, Forsell insisted: “Without a doubt.”
She said: “We could have closed the gap [on Sunday].
“Hats off to Saints, they were the best team on the day and I wouldn’t take anything away from their performance.
“They were outstanding, but we didn’t play to our potential.”
Forsell added: “We could certainly have made the game harder for them and if we’d taken our chances it could have been a different story.
“I don’t think there’s a massive gap.
“In the semi-final there was 10 points in it and this time we let ourselves down in some areas of the game.
“The gap is not too big for us to do anything about and there’s some exciting stuff coming from us in 2022.”
Reflecting on her first season as team boss, Forsell said she will review her own performance, but stressed: “I have really, really enjoyed it.
“With Covid and being a new coach and a new mum this year, I am looking forward to 2022 and finding my groove a little bit more.
“But I think I have given everything I had. At the end of the day, you either win or you lose and I don’t like losing, so I will be doing even more next year to try and make sure we are not on the losing end of another Grand Final.”
Support the YEP and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news and the latest on Leeds United, With a digital subscription, you see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.