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Women’s Super League Grand Final: Caitlin Beevers tries seal glory for Leeds Rhinos over York City Knights

Two converted tries from Caitlin Beevers ensured Leeds claimed victory over York in this year’s Grand Final at Totally Wicked Stadium; It is the Rhinos’ first BWSL title triumph since 2019

Last Updated: 18/09/22 7:50pm


Leeds celebrate their Grand Final success

Caitlin Beevers’ double and an immense defensive effort secured Leeds Rhinos their second Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final triumph with a 12-4 victory over York City Knights.

There was little in it at half-time at Totally Wicked Stadium, with the Rhinos holding a 6-0 lead thanks to an eighth-minute try from Beevers which was converted by her England international team-mate Courtney Winfield-Hill.

The centre increased Leeds’ advantage with a second converted try 11 minutes after the restart, but York struck back soon after thanks to a fine solo effort from Woman of Steel nominee Sinead Peach.

The City Knights tried all they could after this, yet the Rhinos’ defence was otherwise imperious and they held on to claim their first BWSL title triumph since 2019 – just six days before the men’s team take on St Helens in their Grand Final.

Story of the game

York had claimed the League Leaders’ Shield for the first time this year during the regular season – a triumph which was sealed by beating Leeds in the final round of matches – and arrived at Totally Wicked Stadium aiming to clinch the title for the first time.

Both sides had been involved in close-fought semi-finals to reach the showpiece too, with Leeds dethroning the reigning champions and side which beat them in this year’s Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup final, St Helens, while York had battled past Wigan Warriors.

The City Knights seemed to be in the ascendancy in the opening stages, but a knock-on by Savannah Andrade close to the try-line allowed the Rhinos to set in motion an attack which would eventually see them take the lead in the eighth minute.

Beevers opens the scoring for the Leeds Rhinos

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Beevers opens the scoring for the Leeds Rhinos

Beevers opens the scoring for the Leeds Rhinos

It was Beevers who was quickest to react to the loose ball, recovering it for her side, and then she was on hand at the other end of the field to take the pass from Rhinos captain Winfield-Hill, step the defence and dart through a gap to finish for a try.

That would prove to be the only score of the first 40 minutes though, despite York applying immense pressure to the Leeds line and the closest they would come to striking back before the half-time hooter was in the 24th minute when Tara-Jane Stanley’s try was ruled out for an obstruction.

Play was held up early in the second half after Rhinos forward Shannon Lacey suffered a right lower-leg injury which led to her being stretchered off the field, but it was not long before her team-mates had increased their lead.

The Rhinos forced a repeat set when Kesley Gentles was unable to gather a kick cleanly and although the York winger was able to tackle Lucy Murray, there was no stopping Beevers as she sprung out of dummy-half and darted over in the 51st minute.

Sinead Peach goes all the way for the York City Knights with the first try for her side

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Sinead Peach goes all the way for the York City Knights with the first try for her side

Sinead Peach goes all the way for the York City Knights with the first try for her side

Six minutes later though, York were back in the contest and it came on the back of a superb break from hooker Peach, who spotted a gap in the defence and sprinted from dummy-half to finish from over 30 metres out – although Stanley could not convert.

The City Knights kept hammering away at Leeds’ line after this, but the task ultimately proved insurmountable and it was the Rhinos who were celebrating at full time, giving head coach Lois Forsell her first title in charge, having won the inaugural Grand Final as a player with Bradford Bulls in 2017.

What they said

York City Knights head coach Lindsay Anfield

York City Knights head coach Lindsay Anfield says that her side will 'come back hungry' next year

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York City Knights head coach Lindsay Anfield says that her side will ‘come back hungry’ next year

York City Knights head coach Lindsay Anfield says that her side will ‘come back hungry’ next year

“We made some bad decisions, there was a little bit of poor execution, but credit to Leeds. They came out all guns blazing and I thought Caitlin Beevers dealt with everything.

“They’ve been fantastic today and fantastic all season, and for our girls it’s come back hungry next year. I’m so proud of what they’ve done.”

Leeds Rhinos head coach Lois Forsell

Leeds Rhinos head coach Lois Forsell was proud of her players after they clinched Grand Final glory

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Leeds Rhinos head coach Lois Forsell was proud of her players after they clinched Grand Final glory

Leeds Rhinos head coach Lois Forsell was proud of her players after they clinched Grand Final glory

“We put ourselves under quite a bit of pressure, even in the dying minutes, but you almost feel a bit comfortable with it knowing how well the girls will scramble for each other. I’m just so proud of them.

“Massive respect for the girls and the team. I’m a new coach, I retired three years ago and for the girls to give me their time and respect shows what a great club and group I’m lucky enough to work around.”


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