The future looks bright for Hull KR Women after Grand Final win

Category: On The Pitch

The future looks bright for Hull KR Women after Grand Final win

Yesterday, Hull KR Women secured their promotion to the Women’s Championship with a 28-16 victory over Dewsbury Moor in the League 1 Grand Final. 

Robins’ halfback, Jenna Greening thought she had opened the scoring before the effort was chalked off for a knock-on. Minutes later, Dewsbury Moor caught KR out near the posts to cross over from close-range. Conversion added, Dewsbury Moor lead 6-0.

With over a quarter of the half gone, Greening combined with the Robins’ left edge to put centre, Madison Kendall over for her first try. Aimee Matthews slotted over the two, 6-6.

The first half took its toll on both teams but neither could take advantage in the tiring, warm conditions. As the half came to an end, KR’s Aimee Matthews left the field, suffering a suspected concussion in an awkward collision forcing Leah Ward to fullback.

Dewsbury threatened the line heading into the last ten minutes of the half but the Robins’ middles, lead by Lois Brown and Aaliyah Brewster, kept the hosts at bay. Half-time, the score was tied at 6-6.

In the second half, Dewsbury Moor struck first – barging over after the Robins switched off in defence. The conversion went wide, Dewsbury Moor lead 10-6.

It wouldn’t take long for KR to draw level again with Chloe Lound chasing down a smart grubber to go over on the right edge. Kudla missed the two, 10-10.

Dewsbury clawed the lead back minutes later, scoring on the back of an awkward cross-field kick. Kick converted – Dewsbury retook the lead. 16-10.

However, the Robins remained patient and laid the groundwork through their hardworking pack – Georgia Skibowski, Lois Brown and Nikola Kobus all leading from the front.

Late in the second half, the momentum began to shift. With Dewsbury Moor tiring, the experienced, CJ Adams-Richardson powered over from dummy half for the Robins. Kudla blocked out the home crowd to slot the conversion over. All square for the third time, 16-16.

The Robins didn’t look back in the last 20 minutes. Smart play from the Robins’ halves, Holly Cole and Jenna Greening opened a hole for Madison Kendall to cross for her second. Kudla converted – the Robins lead for the first time, 22-16.

Dewsbury looked for an opening back into the game, but KR continued to stretch the hosts and force the penalty. After back-to-back penalties, Madison Kendall had her final say on the game, crashing over to complete her hat-trick and put Hull KR 10-points ahead. Kudla made it three from four with the boot and gave the Robins a two-score lead. Hull KR lead 28-16 with 5 minutes to go. 

The late second-half surge would prove to be the difference as the Red and Whites defended a last-ditch push from Dewsbury to become League 1 Grand Final winners and win promotion to the Women’s Championship. 

Hull KR Women’s Head Coach, Ben Parker was delighted with his side’s effort on the day and their commitment throughout a difficult season: “Our last game prior to playing yesterday was a month ago due to postponements with Covid-19. The team went a month between games and really dug in. 

“Full credit to the side for digging in and believing in themselves all the way through. Me and Harry Cooke (Hull KR Women’s Assistant Coach) have believed in them from the get-go.”

Parker was quick to highlight the impact of KR’s homegrown talent in yesterday’s win including current U16s players, Madison Kendall, Abbie Kudla and Georgia Skibowski: “There’s 8 players that have come through our pathways from our U14s’ Girls side to our current Women’s side and that’s great to see .”

Alongside the junior talent, Parker credited the mix of experienced players and athletes new to rugby with providing a vital foundation for Hull KR Women: Chloe Lound scored an important try yesterday and it’s her first season in rugby league coming from netball. Lois Brown, who has joined from rugby union, lead from the front alongside players that have come back in their late 20s and early 30s due to the lack of female provisions in years gone by.”

“We’ll be looking forward to next season and beyond with the backing we’ve had from the club. They’ll be more players feeding into our new, U18s side from 2022 while looking at alternative pathways to get women involved in rugby league. It’s really exciting times.”

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