BY SEBASTIAN STERNIK
Forget Tottenham v Manchester United, Real Madrid v Sevilla or even Warrington Wolves v Widnes Vikings.
Sunday’s big sporting event is set to take place on Willowbridge Lane where the Castleford Tigers Ladies welcome the current European Champions, Thatto Heath St. Helens, for a massive league fixture.
Castleford have been in fine form winning five from their last six games however, Sunday’s game could prove to be their toughest yet.
Thatto have been at the heart of women’s rugby league for many years and lately, they have been unstoppable. Last month Marc Simon’s side regained their European title following a 16-6 victory over the French champions, Biganos.
Champs 🏉🏆 pic.twitter.com/g7z3j1rWxF
— Rachel Thompson (@rachelthompson6) April 11, 2017
However, the Lancashire side have not played a competitive game since that cup victory, which was a concern raised by the head coach who said:
“We have had a number of weeks off since winning the European Cup, so we are keen to get back to winning ways but we will not take anything for granted.
“We have kept tabs on Cas and we have seen how well they have developed so we expect a really tough match on Sunday.”
On the other hand, Castleford are a brand new outfit in the women’s game following their launch last August. Despite their lack of experience they have been punching above their weight and are currently second in the women’s Premier Division.
The age and experience gap is likely to be a factor. While Thatto currently have a squad packed full of internationals, Castleford’s pack only average 18 years old. With the way this season has gone, you could almost say this is a clash between a current crop of international stars and group of future international talent.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s game, Castleford’s head coach, Lindsay Anfield, said:
“Thatto will be a tough challenge. Not only are they the reigning domestic champions but they are also the current European champions.
“Having said that, we have prepared well this week with some hard sessions and the girls are relishing the opportunity to test themselves against the best in the business.”
You can watch these two sides in action at Willowbridge Lane from 2 PM on Sunday. The match will be played on the Castleford rugby union ground.
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