CUP FINALS are all about joy and despair and having twice been on the wrong end of the experience, Castleford Tigers’ Sinead Peach is hoping to make it third time lucky tomorrow.
Peach was a member of the Featherstone Rovers side which lost to Bradford Bulls in the 2017 Women’s Challenge Cup final and collected another runners-up medal a year ago when Tigers were beaten by Leeds Rhinos.
A rematch of that game will take place at University of Bolton Stadium tomorrow (11.15am) and this time Castleford will go in as hot favourites.
They are top of Women’s Super League and whitewashed Rhinos 27-0 in April and Peach, who is from Leeds, is confident they will get the job done if they produce their best rugby.
“We haven’t really looked at Leeds when we have been training,” Peach revealed.
“We’ve just been focusing on our own ability as a team.
“We haven’t analysed them, we are just having confidence in what we can do and hopefully that will be recognised on Saturday.”
Her experience over the past two years has given Peach an insight into how much the women’s game is growing.
The 2017 final was played at the Heworth amateur club in York and Warrington Wolves HJ Stadium hosted last year’s decider.
For the first time, this season’s women’s finalists were included at the Rugby Football League’s annual media conference to preview the men’s semi-finals, which also take place at Bolton tomorrow.
“It is amazing for the women’s game,” Peach said of being among such illustrious company.
“Three years ago it was nothing like this.
“It is amazing how much it is growing.”
Peach started as an under-15 at her local club Hunslet Warriors, when she “had to start my own team to play” and then went to Featherstone as soon she turned 16.
She was called up by England during her time with Rovers, but reckons her game has come on even further at Cas under coach Lindsay Anfield.
“Lindsay and all the coaches drill into us all the core skills and defence – they are really high standard coaches,” she said.
“All the girls want to do is play good rugby and to get silverware on top of that would be amazing.”
Tigers have been setting a lead off the pitch as well as on it in 2019, attracting record four-figure gates to home games at the Jungle.
“Seb [Sternik] our media guy is really good, he promotes it like there’s no tomorrow,” Peach added.
“There’s a full bus of Cas fans travelling to the final and it’s amazing.
“It really motivates the girls, the fans getting behind us.
“We are dealing with the pressure and being able to do that is good. With it being a triple-header it should be a big crowd. Hopefully by the second half there’ll be a good few people there watching.”