Wakefield Trinity Ladies’ Rachel Eastwood admitted that it felt “great” to be back out on the pitch as she made her competitive Trinity debut against Featherstone.
The score did not swing in Trinity’s favour on the day, however, there was some good news to come out of Trinty’s trip across West Yorkshire.
Hobbling from the field under the supervision of two medical staff, Eastwood’s pre-season was over, dangling the thought in her mind that it might even be the end of her 2022. Following a solid stint in Wakefield’s opening game against Hull KR back in February, the week later, we headed to Salford, getting ready for another brutal Super League campaign.
That was where it all came crashing down for the forward, a tackle in the second half causing a weber be fracture, in Lehman’s terms, breaking her fibula.
Without even making a competitive appearance for the club, Eastwood was devastated by the thought of not even turning out for the club in 2022, and that was the only thing running through her mind.
“My initial reaction walking off the field was that all the hard work I put in pre-season had gone to waste because I already knew it was broke before an assessment.
“I’d say that I suffered great mental battles, wondering if I would ever be able to play again, and, if I did return, how long would that be. Physically, I lost a lot of muscle very quickly, something I am still working on getting that back.”
After a long journey, and countless training sessions being checked over on the physio table, Eastwood was back and starting in the second row for Trinity’s trip to Rovers.
Despite the result, it was a huge achievement, something she has worked hard to accomplish, and an experience she will never forget.
“It felt great to put on a shirt three months after my break. I was so proud of myself and honoured to get a starting shirt within the team.
“I was also very nervous as I knew I probably got dealt the toughest first game back playing Featherstone.
“I feel I did ok slotting back into the side the girls were very supportive, although, I’m very rusty and still have a lot of hard work to put in to be back to where I was.”
Over the last couple of weeks, there has been a marked improvement in how the side has performed on the field. With a new squad at the start of the year, players seem to be finding their feet, with a win feeling like it is on the way.
“The first half, we looked really good,” said Eastwood, speaking on the game against the Flatcappers.
“We felt so determined to get that first win and it went to show in the first 30 minutes, although, with players out and Featherstone coming downhill [in the second half], it proved difficult and are heads went slightly down.
“However, we know what we need to work on and we have been working very hard to make sure our next game is a victory.
Trinity Ladies will be back in action next Sunday as they take on Castleford Tigers ahead of a blockbuster day on Rugby League at the Be Well Support Stadium.
Tickets will be priced at just £10 for adults with juniors going free and can be picked up either online or at the Ridings Club Shop.