Castleford Tigers are ready to make history in Perpignan as they take on their Catalans Dragons counterparts with the inaugural HerRL Trophy at stake.
The men’s Super League fixture between the Catalans Dragons and the Castleford Tigers will not be the only big event down in the south of France this Easter Monday. A couple of hours before the men take to the field, the Gilbert Brutus Stadium will host a historic women’s game between the Déesses Catalanes and the Castleford Tigers Women.
Tigresses head coach Lindsay Anfield is escited at the prospect.
She said: “Our upcoming game in Perpignan was always going to be special, but now that there is silverware on the line, the girls will be more motivated than ever to make sure we come away with a win.
“It’s ground-breaking for the women’s game to have an international double header. I’m sure it will be a fantastic experience for our girls.
"I think it is important to push the boundaries of what can be achieved so organising a friendly game in France this year was firmly on my agenda for my team.
“We would like to say a massive thanks to Angela Powers (Sky Sports reporter) for letting us use the HerRL name on the trophy. We would also like to say a huge thanks to the Catalans Dragons for working with us to turn this dream match from a dream into reality.”
Castleford will head out to Perpignan on Sunday and will then compete against their French counterparts on Easter Monday, returning home the following day.
It is hoped the two sides will meet at least once a year with the HerRL Trophy being defended every time the two clubs clash.
Déesses Catalanes head coach Cyril Torres, said: “This game is very important as we look to develop our women’s league. I can’t wait to see the women’s team benefit from the exposure.
“The southern hemisphere has taken the lead in international matches and high intensity rugby but if we can develop the matches between European nations through our clubs, we can close that gap.”
Castleford Tigers women head for France in great spirits after backing up their opening day win at York with a 36-14 success away to reigning champions Wigan Warriors.
A heroic hat-trick from full-back Tara Stanley alongside tries from Sinead Peach, Lacey Owen, Georgie Hetherington and Georgia Roche helped the Tigresses to a famous win.
The defending Women’s Super League champions came into the game with a point to prove following their opening day defeat against St Helens and started strongly to open the scoring after just two minutes with a Michelle Davis penalty.
The lead was shortlived as Peach tore through the heart of Wigan’s defence to score the first try five minutes later.
The visitors kept up the pressure and Stanley got the first of her tries after being released down the left wing following a Georgia Roche break.
Despite being 12-2 down, Wigan fought back hard and showed how they won the title last season. Two tries in six minutes saw Alison Burrows and Gemma Walsh cross the whitewash to make it 12-10.
Cas might have been bruised by those two efforts, but they were by no means out. Two quickfire replies were soon dished out as Lacey Owen and Georgia Roche both went over just before the break.
The hosts were down by 10 points and were intent on making that deficit up. But as they pushed forward, Castleford exposed an opening and found yet another try courtesy of Georgie Hetherington.
For the next 20 minutes Wigan continued their pursuit of a comeback without much reward. This was the case until the 67th minute when Walsh claimed her second try.
Wigan felt empowered by that try and an uneasy atmosphere swamped the Tigers camp. That same feeling was clearly not felt by the players, however, who found a higher gear and scored two more tries.
Stanley came up with both as she completed her hat-trick and sealed a 36-14 victory for the Tigresses, kicking four goals as well.