Women’s leagues set for play-offs
The final matches of the Women’s domestic rugby league season are coming up in the next few weeks. Following a robust consultation earlier this year, the structure of the league competition was changed with a regional focus to the lower leagues and a new final stage to the Tennent’s premiership.
The top tier of women’s domestic league competition is reaching its penultimate stage this weekend.
Over the course of 60 matches played since August, teams have battled to make the semi-final stage, with those games set for Sunday kick-offs.
Watsonians remain undefeated going into the knockout stages of the league after an impressive season, topping the table with an envious points difference of 607.
Hillhead Jordanhill finished a close second having won all but two of their matches. The reigning champions have fallen short of beating the 2019 Sarah Beaney Cup Champions Watsonians on both occasions but have remained strong for all other matches.
Corstorphine and Stirling County have been fairly evenly matched throughout the season and have one last chance to try and claim a win against Hillhead Jordanhill and Watsonians respectively. Both matches will be played on Sunday 1 December with the winners progressing into the final on Sunday 15 December.
Cartha Queens Park will play against Ayr this Sunday. The winner will remain in the Premiership this year and the loser will face the National League Division 1 Winner in a play-off match on Sunday 15 December.
Tennent’s National League Division 1
There were a couple of standout performances in the Division 1 league this year. Debutants in the league, Heriots Blues Women, had a strong season with 11 wins, losing only once, to eventual runners-up Garioch RFC.
They will therefore get the chance to play in the play-off match on 15 December against either Cartha Queens Park or Ayr RFC.
Head Coach of Heriots Blues Women, Ruth Slaven-Ross, said: “We are so thrilled to have finished top of the Tennent’s National 1 League, especially as it affords us this next opportunity to test ourselves against Premiership opponents.
“We have been focused all season on learning and being courageous to push ourselves physically, technically and tactically. Our biggest effort though has been on our individual and collective team culture.
“For the next few weeks we will remain focused on learning and being courageous to push ourselves, we look forward to the contest and wish Ayr and Cartha all the best in their play-off fixture this weekend.”
Glasgow University Women, who were bottom of the table will now play in the National 1 play-off on Sunday 8 December.
The regional play-offs will see four teams compete for a place in the National League Division 1 for next season. The semi-finals will be held on the weekend of 7 December with the final the weekend after.
West of Scotland were clear winners of the Tennent’s West Regional League, remaining undefeated in the season with no fewer than 10 wins.
They will play against Shetland ladies who topped the table for the Tennent’s North Region League with five wins out of six.
Shetland RFC Women’s Captain, Hazel Thomson, said: “Shetland RFC are absolutely delighted to have come away as league winners of Caledonia North and this amazing opportunity to play West of Scotland, the league winners of West, is undoubtedly one of the most important games for us as a team.
“We are dedicated and passionate to show teams on the mainland what we are capable of.”
The second regional play-off semi-final will be between Glasgow University, who will hope to save their spot in Division 1, and Kelso RFC.
Borders side Kelso RFC had a clean sweep in the Tennent’s East Region League to confirm their place in the regional play-offs.
Sunday 1 December
Tennent’s Premiership Semi-final – Watsonians v Stirling County (A)
Tennent’s Premiership Semi-final – Hillhead v Corstorphine (B)
Tennent’s Premiership play-off semi-finals (5th v 6th) – Cartha Queens Park v Ayr
Saturday 7 December
Regional play-off semi-final - West of Scotland v Shetland RFC (D)
Sunday 8 December
Regional play-off semi-final - Glasgow Uni v Kelso RFC (C)
Sunday 15 December
Tennent’s Premiership Final – winner of A v winner of B
Loser of Premiership play-off semi-final V Heriots Blues Women
Regional play off semi-final – winner of C v winner of D