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Women’s RL: Stanningley keen to make up for league outcome

Manchester Regional Arena.
Manchester Regional Arena.
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LEEDS SIDE Stanningley will have points to prove in today’s women’s rugby league Championship final against Leigh Miners Rangers at Manchester Regional Arena (11am).

Stanningley are the title holders, but were denied top spot in the table in controversial circumstances.

They finished second to Wakefield Trinity on points difference and coach Darren Woods said: “We were robbed of winning the league two weeks ago.

“We had to win against Widnes by 53 points to achieve top spot above Wakefield.

“We were 50-0 up at half-time and they decided they weren’t going to play the second half. Eleven of their players refused to come out.

“We had a full half to score one try so it was a sickener.”

The result stood so Stanningley had to settle for second place.

Woods admitted: “The girls wanted to win the league and it was taken away.

“They are like bears with sore heads.

“They are itching to get out there and put some wrongs right.”

Today’s game is a curtain-raiser to the Women’s Super League Grand Final between Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors.

According to Woods, that gives Stanningley even more motivation.

“Unfortunately, Super League is taking over which is annoying a few people,” he said.

“They [players in the Championship] are putting performances in and making the effort and not getting recognition for it.

“That is a bit of a sore point, players in this division are not getting the recognition they deserve.”

Stanningley beat Hull 38-12 in their semi-final last week and Leigh were surprising 8-4 winners at Wakefield.

Rangers finished fourth in the table, seven points behind the Leeds team.

Stanningley, beaten only three times in 14 league rounds, are in their second major final of the season after being runners-up in the Challenge Shield.

“We won this last year and we are going there to win it again,” Woods stressed.

“That would be a good achievement and we are confident.

“There is a lot of motivation. We have got to make the most of it and enjoy the day.”