Women’s Challenge Cup semi-finals

Leeds Rhinos Women play in their sixth consecutive Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup semi-final on Sunday afternoon as Lois Forsell’s side look to return to Wembley in 2024.

Starting with the club’s first semi-final in 2018, the Rhinos have played three different teams in the last five years, won four out of five semi-finals and, crucially, when they lifted the trophy twice in 2018 and 2019. they face Wigan Warriors in a 2023 semi-final repeat as Wembley awaits.

Take a look back at our previous women’s semi-finals…

Leeds Rhinos Women booked their place in the first final after beating a tough Wigan side at Robin Park 26-8 in the Challenge Cup semi-final.

The Rhinos took the lead after ten minutes when winger Caitlin Beevers finished a flowing move wide. Hanna Butcher couldn’t add the conversion but the visitors made a strong start to 4-0. Four minutes later, Wigan responded to equalize when Wigan captain Gemma Walsh set up full-back Rebecca Greenfield to level the scores.

Leeds then took control of the game with two tries before the break. The first came from an interception which was completed for Beevers for their second try of the game and then with seven minutes to go Danielle Anderson proved too strong to stop near the line and crashed over. Butcher converted both to give the Rhinos a 16-4 lead at halftime.

Half-back Walsh and Greenfield combined again early in the second half to give Wigan hope of a reply just six minutes into the second half, but that was as close as the Warriors went to claim victory. Just after the hour the Rhinos made their pressure count after a long spell on the Wigan line they finally found a way over and five minutes later full back Charlotte Booth continued her impressive season with another try . Butcher converted the latter as her kick bounced over the post and the Rhinos were in full control at 26-8.

It took a late try from Caitlin Beevers to separate Leeds and St Helens in the 2019 semi-final as the Rhinos advanced to the final again.

Sophie Nuttall and Shannon Lacey also got tries in the low-scoring affair, but Beevers’ winner helped Leeds on their way to Cup success for the second successive season.

Following a Covid-affected 2021 season, Leeds saw St Helens get their revenge for 2019 as the eventual cup winners beat Rhinos 20-12.

After two Amy Hardcastle tries helped the Saints to a strong lead, Fran Goldthorp and Orla McCallion rallied for the Rhinos but it was too late on this occasion.

A strong run through the 2022 Challenge Cup competition saw Leeds defeat York in a 28-26 triumph.

In the toughest match of that year’s Cup campaign, the Rhinos met every challenge York threw at them as Chloe Kerrigan touched down twice, plus Alex Barnes, Hanna Butcher and Tasha Gaines scored tries to help Leeds to return to the final.

Last year’s epic at AMT Headingley saw Leeds and Wigan go head-to-head for a place in the first final to be played at Wembley Stadium.

Amy Hardcastle and Beri Salihi traded tries for both sides in the opening minutes but it took a try from Beevers on the hour mark to turn the game in the Rhinos’ favour. Tara Moxon also added her name to the goalscoring list as Leeds went to Wembley.