Published: 18th June 2018
REACTION: Steve Stead discusses the Huddersfield Giants U19s Women’s 58-16 victory over the Royal Navy in their first ever match
It was the first ever game from a Giants Women’s side as the U19s Women’s team defeated the Royal Navy 58-16 at Orchard Park on Sunday.
Giants Community Development Officer, and U19s Women’s Head Coach, Steve Stead spoke to giantsrl.com after the match and reflected on the debut victory:
“We thought it was going to be a tough game, they’re an open age team with a lot of fit ladies there. We went out and started well. Our forwards led from the start and we scored within two minutes through Olivia Wood. Part of our game plan was to go out there and really push them from the start to see what we could get from the first twenty minutes, we took that advantage early and went quite a few scores ahead, I think it was 38-4 at half-time.
“Both my prop forwards, Olivia Wood and Codie Slack, managed to score four tries each. Olivia got her hattrick inside the first-half, it wasn’t just the tries though, they both put in a really good shift defensively. Olivia was made our Vice Captain earlier in the week because she leads by example, Grace Ramsden is very vocal as our Captain, whereas Olivia is a bit quieter but she’s a real team player. She leads by example by taking lots of ball, makes tackles, doesn’t complain and just gets on with the game, that’s exactly what she did on Sunday with some awesome defence and leadership from the front.
“Grace got the Player of the Match award, she scored two tries and controlled the game well from the half-back role. We need that person in the middle of the park, because we’re a new team communication can be a little light at times, so Grace moved us around the field, controlled the game and changed positionally a bit through the match.
“Everyone in the team played well, I can’t fault any one of them. We picked up a few injuries, we didn’t really have any subs to go back on in the second-half but they still stuck in. During the second-half we only had twelve players on the field for the last ten minutes, but they still managed to get a try out of it without conceding.
“It was our first ever women’s game for Huddersfield, it’s a platform for us and we’ve got to keep that up now. We’ve put in a good performance in our first match, we just need to maintain that through the rest of the season.”
Stead’s side take on Wigan Warriors U19s Women’s team on Friday 22nd June, kick-off 7:45pm at Orchard Park, in their next match as they get off to a home opener in the league and the Head Coach is looking forward to the test:
“Friday’s match against Wigan will be a bigger test for us. I think the players will be a bit more experienced, Wigan are in the Super League as well so they’ll have fringe players moving up and down, so we’re expecting a bigger challenge there but I’m confident in our team and that we’ve got the making of a very good side here. I’m expecting some big things from them.
“Sunday was good because we identified what we need to work on. It’s the first time we’ve seen them in a competitive game, you can’t get that from training, no matter how much you play them against each other. We’re confident in our team, we have a good platform to build on, but we know where we need to go now in training.”
After recording an impressive victory in their first ever match, Stead is hoping to see more people head to Orchard Park on Friday night to see the Women’s side take on Wigan and support his side:
“Sunday’s match was entertaining. The feedback I got from every supporter was that they enjoyed the game and didn’t expect it to be as entertaining as it was. They said how they’ve been to other amateur games and they said they found this really exciting. A lot of people haven’t seen women’s rugby before and thought it could have been a bit stale, a lot of people had asked how you get a lot of fans to be there with it not being so hard-hitting, I don’t agree with that and Sunday proved it. There were lots of fans there, people enjoyed the day and it was a high scoring game. It wasn’t a one-sided game, the Royal Navy are very physical side and we put on a really good show for everyone.
“I would definitely encourage Giants fans to go on Friday and see the game, I think they’d be very surprised by the level they’re playing at, especially now we’ve got a tough game against Wigan this week, it’s definitely one to come and watch. Quite a lot of people came to me and said they didn’t expect to see what they did on Sunday, it was a hard-hitting, thrilling game that produced a lot of excitement from start to finish.
“With no Giants match this weekend it’s the perfect opportunity to watch some rugby league in Huddersfield so get yourself down to Orchard Park to support the women’s side.”
U19s Women’s team against the Royal Navy on Sunday: Emmi Manning, Jamie-Leigh Scott, Hafsa Ur-Rehman, Louise Travers, Beth Squire, Erin O’Grady, Grace Ramsden (C), Codie Slack, Olivia Cummins, Olivia Wood, Loren Gregory, Ebony Haley, Abby Crowther
Replacements: Chloe Brown, Elyse Royal, Abigayle Brook
Tries: Olivia Wood (4), Abby Crowther (2), Codie Slack (4), Grace Ramsden (2)
Goals: Grace Ramsden (5)