On Sunday, we were privileged to go and watch the first ever Women’s Super League derby between St. Helens and Wigan. Played at the Robin Park Arena, in front of a very healthy crowd, no effort was left on the field with plenty of big hits in a tough, tight game and 2 sin-binnings (both of which went to the same Wigan player),

Unfortunately Saints couldn’t make the numerical advantage count and lost the game 16-6, after leading 6-4 at half time. Wigan scored 4 tries to Saints 1 but couldn’t add the conversions to make the scoreline look much more comfortable. A 10 point gap was probably a fair reflection on the game, and Saints must rue missed chances in the first half to take what could have been an 18-0 lead.

After the match we caught up with Head Coach Mark Brennan and England second row Emily Rudge. Once again, we’d like to thank St. Helens RFC for allowing us to interview Mark and Emily, and of course thank our interviewees for sparing us a couple of minutes after the game. Emily told us about what it was like facing her wife on the rugby field, Wigan Warriors captain and the player who was sin-binned twice, Gemma Walsh. We also spoke to Faye Gaskin after the game, but in more of a personal capacity. The one thing that comes across from Mark, Emily and Faye is how much they appreciate the support the game is receiving, and also how they’d love for it to grow further.

The Wigan fans have really embraced the concept of the Women’s Super League. There were tracksuits and jerseys worn by youngsters at the game from different community clubs from round the Wigan area. It would be great for the same thing to happen for the Saints – to show the club that fans do care about the women’s game. And who knows maybe a game at the Totally Wicked Stadium could be on the cards.

In fact, despite the disappointment around the result, the St. Helens Women’s Team still sit in second in the Super League table. They face Leeds on Sunday, so if you’re only heading to Magic Weekend on Saturday, or perhaps not at all, I’m sure they’d love to see your support this weekend.

St. Helens play Leeds Rhinos at 2.15 this Sunday at Thatto Heath Rugby Club. Admission is £2.

Emily Rudge interview:

Mark Brennan Interview:

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