Hill: Domestic double would mean everything for Leeds Rhinos

Yahoo Sport UK
Leeds Rhinos' Courtney Hill during the press conference Action Images/Ed Sykes
Leeds Rhinos' Courtney Hill during the press conference Action Images/Ed Sykes

Leeds Rhinos half-back Courtney Hill says it would mean everything to her side to complete the domestic double by beating Castleford Tigers in Friday night’s Betfred Women’s Super League Grand Final.

It’s a second successive Grand Final for the Rhinos who will be attempting to avenge last year’s shortcomings where a last-minute Charlotte Foley penalty meant they narrowly lost out 18-16 to Wigan Warriors.

It looks as though the odds may be in the Rhinos’ favour this time around, the Leeds-based side having beaten Castleford to silverware in July to secure their second successive Challenge Cup final victory.

And while Hill was one of the stand-out performers in that final, scoring a try and kicking two penalties, she knows there is no room for the Rhinos to become complacent ahead of Friday’s showpiece.

“I don’t think winning the Challenge Cup means anything,” said the 32-year-old Australian, who won the Super League Woman of Steel award on Monday despite only taking up the sport full-time two seasons ago.

“It’s a clean slate come this Friday and we’ve got a big job against Castleford ahead of us.

“Winning the double would mean everything to us. We won a different double last year with the league and the Challenge Cup.

”Obviously, this year, Castleford took the league title so if we manage to beat them on Friday, we will be delighted to win a different double.”

This week marks a landmark moment for the Betfred Women’s Super League, with Friday’s Grand Final the first to be televised on Sky Sports.

While Tigers’ Grace Field believes this exposure is exactly what the women’s game needs, she knows far more needs to be done until WSL – still a fully amateur league - is able to emulate the financial progress already made in women’s rugby union.

She believes broadcasting Friday’s Grand Final on Sky Sports is the perfect start and is willing to do all it takes to take women’s rugby league to the next level.

“I’m over the moon that the women’s game is finally getting the recognition it deserves, but I think it’s all baby steps at the moment,” she said.

“The women’s game has great potential to break boundaries. The next big step is to bring in some form of financial incentive to play.

“We all work part-time jobs, Georgia Roach is a barrister, Emily Rudd works in a secondary school and others are in the police or studying full-time.

“It’s difficult but because we’re all so dedicated to the sport, we’re willing to put in that effort to get that exposure.”

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