Women’s Super League: Saints, Leeds to contest Grand Final

League Leaders’ Shield winners St Helens and reigning champions Leeds secured their places in this year’s Grand Final at Emerald Headingley; watch the 2021 Women’s Super League Grand Final live on Sky Sports on Sunday, October 10

Last Updated: 26/09/21 7:09pm

Sophie Nuttall's two tries helped Leeds secure a Grand Final place Sophie Nuttall's two tries helped Leeds secure a Grand Final place

Sophie Nuttall’s two tries helped Leeds secure a Grand Final place

We round up all the action from Sunday’s double-header at Totally Wicked Stadium as the top four in the Women’s Super League faced off in the semi-finals…

St Helens 58-0 Castleford Tigers

St Helens’ quest for the treble remains on course after they stormed to victory over Castleford in Sunday’s first semi-final.

Leah Burke led the way for Saints with three tries, while player of the match Jodie Cunningham, Paige Travis and Tara Jones grabbed two apiece.

Carrie Roberts, Chantelle Crowl and Rachael Woosey all crossed for one try each too and Zoe Harris kicked five conversions to book Saints’ place in the Grand Final on Sunday, October 10.

Derek Hardman’s side have already claimed the Challenge Cup and League Leaders’ Shield in 2021, and Cunningham believes the off-field support they are receiving has enabled the women’s team to shine.

“The standards off the field have raised massively, which has allowed us to raise the standards on the field,” Cunningham told Sky Sports.

“We’ve added quality to our squad, but a lot of these girls have just improved season on season because of the support we’ve had, and I’m really excited to see what we can do in the final.”

Leah Burke grabbed a hat-trick for St Helens in their win over Castleford Leah Burke grabbed a hat-trick for St Helens in their win over Castleford

Leah Burke grabbed a hat-trick for St Helens in their win over Castleford

Castleford’s 17-player squad featured just five players over the age of 25 and head coach Marie Colley was encouraged by the spirited display from her side as they plan for 2022.

“The adversity we’ve been through, a lot of teams have written us off, but I think we showed some character,” Colley told Sky Sports. “Saints are the best team in the competition, without a doubt, and it showed.”

York City Knights 18-22 Leeds Rhinos

Lois Forsell believes there is still plenty for Leeds to work on after they set up a Grand Final appearance at their Emerald Headingley home with a narrow win over York City Knights.

Two tries from Sophie Nuttall and one apiece from Tasha Gaines and Courtney Winfield-Hill, who also kicked three goals, helped the Rhinos overcome York in a see-saw contest.

The reigning champions now have the opportunity to keep hold of their crown on their home turf in two weeks’ time, but head coach Forsell is eyeing an improvement from her team.

“We’ve got a lot to work on over the next couple of weeks, but we’re going home to Headingley and what better an occasion for the group of girls we’ve got,” Forsell told Sky Sports.

“I’m really proud of them and we look ahead to the end of our season and hopefully finishing on our terms.”

Tries from Olivia Wood, Emma Hardy and Kelsey Gentles had put York into a 14-4 lead at half time, only for the Rhinos to fight back after the break.

Emma Hardy's two tries could not help York overcome Leeds Emma Hardy's two tries could not help York overcome Leeds

Emma Hardy’s two tries could not help York overcome Leeds

Hardy’s second try of the match helped keep the City Knights in the hunt, yet Leeds proved too strong for them and player of the match Winfield-Hill hailed her team-mates second-half efforts.

“I was kicking myself after that first 40 and I apologised to the girls and said I needed to step up,” Winfield-Hill told Sky Sports. “They came with me and we got ourselves back into the game, and well done to them.”

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