Leeds Rhinos started their Women’s Super League playoff campaign with a 28-6 win over Castleford Tigers at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The Tigers drew first blood after just a couple of minutes. Georgia Roche’s kick was missed by Caitlin Beevers, allowing Hollie Dodd to score. Tara Stanley scored the conversion to open up a six-point lead.
That lead would last just over 15 minutes, as Leeds hit back. Keara Bennett went over straight from dummy half. Courtney Winfield-Hill converted to level the scores.
It took until nine minutes into the second half for the next score to come, and it went to Leeds Rhinos. Beevers’ kick in the in-goal bounced off a defender, allowing Winfield-Hill to collect and score. Winfield-Hill then converted her own try to put the Rhinos ahead by six points.
Just three minutes later, Winfield-Hill was able to add another try. She ran the ball down the short side and managed to burrow her way over. She was then off-target with the conversion attempt.
That would not matter, as soon after, Winfield-Hill was able to add a penalty after Castleford were caught offside.
Leeds then put the game out of sight with less than 10 minutes to go. A quick break saw the ball move through the hands, and Fran Goldthorp was able to put Tara Moxon over for the try. Winfield-Hill was back on target with her conversion attempt.
There was time for one more Leeds try, this time it was Sophie Robinson who went over after finishing a quick move. Winfield-Hill could not add the conversion.
The Rhinos will be hoping to back that win up when they travel to fave York City Knights next Sunday. As for Castleford, they will be hoping to bounce back against Wigan Warriors on the same day.
Castleford Tigers: Tara Stanley, Kaitlin Varley, Lacey Owen, Hailey Swann, Ellie Lamb, Georgia Roche, Lucy Eastwood, Sammy Watts, Courtney Pursglove, Emma Lumley, Shona Hoyle, Hollie Dodd, Jaz Bell.
Subs: Aimee Wallace, Kirsty Duffield, Libby Priestley, Evelyn Vaigalu.
Head Coach: Marie Colley
Leeds Rhinos: Caitlin Beevers, Sophie Nuttall, Fran Goldthorp, Eloise Hayward, Sophie Robinson, Hanna Butcher, Courtney Winfield-Hill, Danika Priim, Keara Bennett, Bethany Lockwood, Chloe Kerrigan, Lucy Murray, Aimee Stanley.
Subs: Tasha Gaines, Elle Frain, Tara Moxon, Ella Johnson.
Head Coach: Lois Forsell