Women's RL: Danielle steeled for Rhinos' cup challenge
NERVES ARE building ahead of the Women's Challenge Cup final against Castleford Tigers in three days' time, but prop Danielle Anderson insists Leeds Rhinos can handle the occasion.
Rhinos have reached the final, to be played at Warrington’s HJ Stadium on Saturday, in their first season and it will be the biggest game in the club’s short history.
“It’s going to be a big day and a really exciting day as well,” said Anderson, a prop, who joined Rhinos from Oulton Raiders.
“At the start of the season we set some goals and one of them was getting to the Challenge Cup final and hopefully winning it.
“There’s going to be some nerves, but some excitement as well. It’s going to be a different experience for us all.”
Having coach Adam Cuthbertson in the camp could give Rhinos – who beat Wakefield Trinity, Army and Wigan Warriors to reach the final – an edge, Anderson reckons.
Cuthbertson was a member of the Rhinos men’s side that lifted the Challenge Cup at Wembley in 2015 and is a two-time Grand Final winner.
“He has been really good,” Anderson said.
“He has brought all his experience and he’s helping us get better and stronger.
“We are lucky to have the same facilities as the men. We use their gym and things like that and we’ve got a lot of support staff.
“It’s a big club and they are backing us.”
Castleford reached the final after wins over holders Bradford Bulls, St Helens – the only team to defeat Leeds this year – and York City Knights.
Rhinos won 40-12 when the sides met at Headingley in May, but lost 24-8 at Castleford in a pre-season game. Anderson recalled: “It [the league clash] was a tough game, but we came out from the start knowing what we had to do and that helped us.
“I think they left it a bit too late. They came back at the end, but we went out from the start.
“They beat us in pre-season. It was our first game and we were still getting to know each other, but when we lost we didn’t want to feel that again. That has helped us to play better, but we can do a lot better than we have been doing.
“We’re confident we can do it this week.”