Amazing Super League record attendance smashed

York Valkyrie crowned a memorable debut season under their new identity by beating Leeds Rhinos 16-6 in a compelling Grand Final to seal the club’s first Betfred Women’s Super League title.

York had been the bridesmaids at a number of major occasions in recent seasons, including the 2022 Grand Final when they were beaten by the Rhinos.

But after securing home advantage by winning the League Leaders’ Shield, they produced a tough and clinical big match performance to delight the majority of a 4,547 attendance at the LNER Community Stadium – a new record for the BWSL Grand Final.

England backs Tamzin Renouf and Tara Jane Stanley scored first-half tries to establish an 8-0 half-time lead, and after Leeds got on the board and threatened a comeback with a Ruby Enwright penalty, the Valkyrie sealed the win when Lacey Owen surged over, with Stanley converting for her second goal after earlier kicking a penalty.

Young half-back Caitlin Casey scored a deserved try for the Rhinos in stoppage time, but they chose not to take the conversion as the York celebrations had already started.

Thomas Brindle, the General Manager of the BWSL, said:

“Congratulations to the York club for securing their first Grand Final win, and also hosting another memorable occasion for Women’s Rugby League.

“The Women’s and Girls’ game has built real momentum in this city, as we saw with their successful staging of a number of games in last autumn’s World Cup at the LNER Community Stadium.

“They earned the right to host their first Grand Final with their consistency through the season to win the League Leaders’ Shield, and all four clubs involved on the day have played the part in generating a record attendance and a fantastic atmosphere.”

Earlier in the day Barrow Raiders had beaten Leigh Leopards 14-8 in an equally competitive Group 2 BWSL Final, securing the last remaining position in the Super League next season – and ensuring a Cumbrian presence for the first time when the elite competition expands to eight clubs from 2024 as part of a new pyramid structure for Women’s Rugby League.

It has been a terrific year for women’s rugby league.