Rhinos Netball U19s beat Storm for a top four position in their inaugural year

There was another great result for Leeds Rhinos’ Netballers on Saturday, as they secured a 63-55 win over Surrey Storm at University of Birmingham.

The Rhinos vs Storm game featured in a closing weekend for the Under-19 National Performance League (NPL), where the top ten English teams battle for the league title.

It was a tough encounter against a strong Surrey Storm side, which saw the Rhinos earn a 63-55 victory. A tight contest throughout, Storm fought back to within two goals in the final quarter before the Rhinos finished strong to wrap up the win and extend their recent run of good form.

The quarter scores were as follows: Q1 Rhinos lead 15 – 14; Q2 Storm lead 30 – 28; Q3 Rhinos lead 48 – 42; Q4 Rhinos win 63 – 55.

Emily Perry, the U19 Head Coach, said: “We were delighted with this final performance, showing how much the squad has been prepared to learn and develop individually and together. Although only eight players took to court in this game, I want to pay credit to the athletes on the bench and the broader Elite Squad who have trained all season, they have all played their part.

“We maintained our composure under significant pressure today. I can’t believe I have only been working with these athletes for just six months, a great set of girls!”

Georgia Pexton, captain of the U19 Squad, said: “Was excellent to get the win against a strong Surrey Storm side who pushed us for the full 60 minutes. For those of us who played our last U19 league game for Rhinos it was an amazing end with a strong attacking and defensive performance and impressive impact from the bench.”

Saturday’s result means that in Rhinos secured a 4th place spot out of ten teams. A performance to be proud of in the first year in a strong and established NPL league. The squad have played nine games, losing to the three strong squads who medalled (Thunder, Wasps and Pulse) and winning six games.

Anna Carter, Director of Leeds Rhinos Netball said: “I am very proud of all that we have achieved with Rhinos Netball in the short space of time since being awarded the Pathway last July.

Emily has been a great addition to the coaching team and we are both very proud of how this NPL squad has performed.

“All the coaches are excited for the upcoming summer tournaments where we will have U19s, U17s and U15s competing in July and August. My thanks go to the coaching and support team behind these athletes, and to the parents and families.”

Bob Bowman, Chief Operating Officer of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation added: “A great team effort on and off the court, Rhinos are very proud of our U19 Netball Squad. The way Anna and the team are driving all aspects of netball is fantastic just a year after the Commonwealth Games Gold and in the run up to the World Cup.

“We are delivering great performance netball, an ever-expanding community programme to engage new athletes, and developing more performance coaches and showing what is possible in netball with the support of a professional sporting club, and a strong charitable arm with Leeds Rhinos Foundation.

We really are changing lives through sport and we have big ambitions to secure a Superleague franchise for Leeds and Yorkshire.”

For more information, visit www.leedsrhinosnetball.co.uk.