It looks close on paper, but Wigan Warriors didn’t break the Leeds Rhinos Women’s defence until the very last play of the game.
Rhinos showed their attacking intentions from the first whistle and under-19 promotee Fran Goldthorpe was first to test the Wigan defence. The Warriors threw that attitude right back at the visitors and only heroic work by Suze Hill defused a tense situation.
Leeds were then forced to drop-out restart before Wigan spilled possession over the Rhinos’ try line. Wigan’s Gemma Walsh was again the architect of a sound attack but Hill was again on hand to mop things up by dumping the winger over the sideline.
Keara Bennett jinked through to release Sophie Nuttall to test the Wigan line. And on 22 minutes Leeds got their breakthrough try, Bennett barging over off Hill’s pass.
Leeds retained their 4-0 advantage beyond half-time thanks to a last-ditch tackle by Beevers. Leeds looked a little shaky at the start of the second half but were quick to regroup – but only after Wigan had once again fluffed their lines in front of the visitors’ posts.
A piece of individual brilliance sealed the win for the Rhinos, Courtney Hill breaking from the base of the scrum, showing the ball to defenders before backing herself into the corner to score. Hill added the extras from the touchline then popped over a late penalty before Wigan’s late-late show.