SAINTS Women's coach Matty Smith said he was "speechless" after seeing his side nil Leeds to win a fourth consecutive Challenge Cup.

Tries from Faye Gaskin, Phoebe Hook, Luci McColm and Chantelle Crowl secured a 22-0 triumph at Wembley.

Remarkably, Saints' defensive shut-out means that the side has conceded just one try in their entire cup run.

Smith, who described the performance as "outstanding", said: "We've done it the past couple of weeks now, but we showed resilience in defence on our own goal line, especially in that first 20 minutes, when Leeds went back-to-back in good ball sets and we kept turning them away.

"And what we've got at the minute is the line speed off the goal line that puts people under pressure. Our D won us the game.

"Leeds are a quality side with strike all over the all over the pitch, both edges and through the middle so we knew they were going to play - and we knew they were going to come at us."

It was not simply in defence where Saints excelled, with Saints clinical with the ball when they had the opportunity.

Smith said: "We've got players in the squad who can come up with special players and points and can execute plays so I was never really worried about attack.

"I have not really been worried about the defence in the last month but that defensive display to today won us the game for sure.

"It's credit to these girls that they keep showing up for each other.

"You don't get everything right in terms of making every tackle, but what they've got at the minute is that want and that will to defend for each other.

"And if someone makes a mistake, someone else is cleaning that up.

"So when you've got that spirit and you've got that work ethic it takes some beating and you add the skill and the execution of what they've got, then you take some beating and no one's beaten us in the past month."


The Saints crop is slowly evolving and this side had a cluster of players who made their Wembley debuts - but whether it was teenage full back Beri Salihi or experienced skipper Jodie Cunningham the side knitted together to produce the goods. 

"This group is special and what they've done in the past four years to go back-to-back, to back-to-back.

"But to come here on this big stage at Wembley the last two years and perform like they have just shows how special the group is.

"We will never get bored of this.


"The week's been great and the build up yesterday, coming down as a team and experiences like that are valuable.

"To spend time together brings the group together and then you get performances like that.

"I'm pleased as a coach and I couldn't more made-up but I don't know how we can improve if I'm honest, but I'm sure there's improvement in us."