Today, York City Knights clinched the Women’s Super League Leader Leaders’ Shield thanks to a win over Leeds Rhinos.
The Knights gained a measure of revenge over the Rhinos who defeated them earlier this season in the Challenge Cup semi-finals before a classic encounter with St Helens in the final.
Now the Knights are in pole position to make it to the other showpiece final having played in last year’s Challenge Cup Final losing to St Helens.
The Knights maintain a lovely tradition in the Women’s Super League in which there has been a new winner of the League Leaders’ Shield with Leeds winning it in 2018, Castleford in 2019, St Helens in 2021 and now York City Knights of course in 2022.
It was the most straight forward of the many potential narratives ahead of today’s game which could have seen any of the top three come away with the trophy in a scenario reminiscent of Leeds’ famous last day League Leaders’ Shield triumph in the men’s competition back in 2015.
That day Leeds, opponents Huddersfield and Wigan could have come away with the shield with Leeds in poll position knowing a win would do making anything else simply redundant and eventually that’s what Leeds did.
The York City Knights needed no such dramatics today, but the intriguing setup of the day with both opponents Leeds and reigning Champions St Helens capable of claiming the League Leaders’ Shield should they pick up wins and get the better of points difference demonstrates the quick growth of the game.
Not only is there three top teams competing already, but the women’s game has already been able to match the drama of the men’s despite being in its infancy.
The Knights did have to produce a bit of a comeback after they trailed 10-0 at the break but four unanswered tries with braces from Katie Langan, Tara Stanley in what ended up being a famous 22-14 win for the York ladies.
A terrific occasion with plenty of story behind it showing how competitive the sport has become and how its standard can create the kind of narratives we so love in rugby league as a whole just like the end to the 2015 season which today’s events were an apt sequel to.