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Women's Challenge Cup

24 Apr 2022

St Helens overwhelm Featherstone as Cup defence continues

St Helens overwhelm Featherstone as Cup defence continues

The second Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup semi-final of the day saw defending champions St Helens take on Featherstone Rovers.

It’s full steam ahead Elland Road for Saints as they showed their class once again against a spirited Featherstone – a strong performance saw them book their place in the final.

Paige Travis gave St Helens the start they craved as she battled through Featherstone bodies to score the first try of the game after five minutes.

Travis was instrumental throughout the opening forty minutes as Saints’ quality began to shine through, and a fine attacking display saw them head in at the break 40-0 up, with a hattrick from Carrie Roberts capping off an impressive first half performance.

St Helens started the second half like they finished the first, with Emily Partington finding space out wide to extend the lead further.

Saints’ impressive display continued, and the sixty-minute mark saw Rebecca Rotherham grab her second try of the day to make it 56-0.

Amy Hardcastle was the next Saints player to grab a hat-trick after a flowing attack, as the game reached it’s closing stages – Bethany Stott made no mistakes with the conversion.

Rachael Woosey helped cap off a dominant Saints performance with a try in the final minute, making it 82-0.

Speaking after the game, St Helens head coach Dec Hardman said: “I’ve got a great team – a great bunch of girls, great staff, and we all work hard for results like that. There’s things we can work on for sure, but we’re really excited.”

Looking ahead to the final against Leeds Rhinos, Hardman said: “They’re a great club. A really good team and one we battle with every year – they’ll be a great challenge for us.

“We’ll recover, we’ll look at the video and we’ll work hard. There’s always room for improvement.”

A memorable evening for Saints full back Rebecca Rotherham saw her crowned Player of the Match, and she reflected on a great performance afterwards: “The gap opened and you have to take your chances. It’s not an easy game playing Featherstone, they’re a big physical team and they’ll put their bodies on the line – we had to match their fight.”

Looking ahead to a final at Elland Road, Rotherham said: “We want to play at these big stadiums, we want to be part of these big occasions – they’re great days out, we got a taste of it last year and we want another taste of it.

“Leeds are a good team, with a really dangerous half-back pairing – we won’t underestimate them.”

The Saints march on to yet another Betfred Challenge Cup final, where they’ll aim to take a massive step to matching last year’s treble triumph.