2023 Women's Challenge Cup final

The 2023 Women's Challenge Cup Final was the 11th final of rugby league's Women's Challenge Cup knock-out competition. The 2023 final marked the first time the final of the Women's Challenge Cup had been played at Wembley. The final was a repeat of the 2022 final with defending champions St Helens taking on last season's runners-up Leeds Rhinos.[3][4]

2023 (2023) Women's Challenge Cup Final  ()
12 Total
LEE 44 8
STH 166 22
Date12 August 2023, 12:00
StadiumWembley Stadium
LocationLondon, United Kingdom
Player of the MatchJodie Cunningham (St Helens)
God Save The King and Abide with MeLizzie Jones[1]
RefereeJames Vella
Broadcast partners
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2024 →

The cup was won by St Helens, who won their third consecutive cup final, defeating Leeds Rhinos 22–8. St Helens captain, Jodie Cunningham was named player of the match.

For the first time in its history, both the women's and men's final took place at Wembley Stadium on the same day – 12 August 2023.[5][6]

Background edit

St Helens are two times defending champions of the Challenge Cup having won in 2021 and 2022. They also won the tournament four times in a row between 2013 and 2016. Upon gaining their place in the final St Helens were second in Super League behind their semi-final opponents York Valkyrie.

Leeds Rhinos entered the final aiming to avenge their 2022 defeat to St Helens. They last won the competition in 2019 retaining it after their 2018 victory. Upon qualification Leeds were in third place in Super League, one place and one point behind St Helens.

Route to the final edit

St Helens edit

Round Opposition Venue Score
Group Stage   London Broncos The Rock 76–0
  Castleford Tigers Wheldon Road 106–0
  Warrington Wolves Totally Wicked Stadium 36–4
Quarter-final   Warrington Wolves Totally Wicked Stadium 36–0
Semi-final   York Valkyrie Halliwell Jones Stadium 17–16

Leeds Rhinos edit

Round Opposition Venue Score
Group Stage   Bradford Bulls Weetwood Sports Park 72–0
Oulton Raidettes Oulton forefitted game
  Huddersfield Giants Laund Hill 54–0
Quarter-final   Leigh Leopards Headingley 54–0
Semi-final   Wigan Warriors Headingley 16–4


Match details edit

Saturday, 12 August
12:00 (BST)
Leeds Rhinos   8–22   St Helens
Tries: Robinson (25')
Beevers (43')
Tries: Jones (13')
Hook (15')
Partington (18')
Hoyle (47')
Goals: Taylor (3/5) 13', 15', 64' (penalty)
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 8,338
Referee: James Vella
Touch judges: Ryan Cox, Denton Arnold
Player of the Match: Jodie Cunningham
Team details
Leeds Rhinos Position St Helens
Name Number Number Name
Ruby Enright 31 Fullback 6 Zoe Harris
Sophie Nuttall 5 Wing 28 Phoebe Hook
Hanna Butcher (c) 4 Centre 11 Paige Travis
Caitlin Beevers 3 Centre 2 Luci McColm
Sophie Robinson 2 Wing 3 Eboni Partington
Caitlin Casey 26 Stand off 21 Amy Taylor
Jenna Greening 24 Scrum half 7 Faye Gaskin
Dannielle Anderson   19' 10 Prop forward 10 Chantelle Crowl
Jasmine Cudjoe   34'   58' 15 Hooker 9 Tara Jones
Zoe Hornby   36'   58' 8 Prop forward 17 Philippa Birchall
Lucy Murray 28 Second row 8 Shona Hoyle
Amy Hardcastle 11 Second row 12 Emily Rudge
Bethan Dainton 12 Loose forward 13 Jodie Cunningham (c)
Elle Frain   36'   58' 19 Interchange 4 Naomi Williams
Eloise Hayward 21 Interchange 14 Vicky Whitfield
Tara Moxon   34'   58' 20 Interchange 15 Lucie Sams
Izzy Northrop   19' 18 Interchange 19 Katie Mottershead
Bethany Lockwood 16 Concussion substitute 1 Rebecca Rotheram
Lois Forsell Coach Matty Smith

Post match edit

Following both the women's and men's challenge cup final, Wembley will host the Year 7 boys schools' final and the final of the 2023 1895 Cup.[7] The 1895 Cup Final saw Halifax Panthers beat Batley Bulldogs 12–10.[8] The men's final saw Leigh Leopards beat Hull KR 17–16.[9]

References edit

  1. ^ Pattison, Cam (11 August 2023). "Wife of former rugby league player to sing Abide With Me". Rugby League News. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  2. ^ "Challenge Cup 2023 final attendance revealed with motorway impacting supporters; Women's game enjoys record crowd". LoveRugbyLeague. 12 August 2023. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Challenge Cup final 2023: Talking points for rugby league's historic women's and men's Wembley showpiece". Sky Sports. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  4. ^ Bower, Aaron (9 August 2023). "Wembley Challenge Cup final another giant step for women's rugby league". Retrieved 12 August 2023 – via The Guardian.
  5. ^ "Challenge Cup final to return to Wembley in 2023". BBC Sport.
  6. ^ "Wembley to host Challenge Cup final double-header in 2023". LoveRugbyLeague. August 12, 2022.
  7. ^ "1895 Cup: The eight clubs that can move within 80 minutes of Wembley". LoveRugbyLeague. April 20, 2023.
  8. ^ "Listen: 1895 Cup final - Batley Bulldogs v Halifax Panthers". BBC Sport. 2023-08-11. Retrieved 2023-08-21.
  9. ^ "Leigh beat Hull KR in epic Challenge Cup final". BBC Sport. 2023-08-12. Retrieved 2023-08-21.