This weekend was the beginning of a new women’s rugby league season in the UK, with Super League, Championship and League 1 all playing their first fixtures. Here’s what happened:
Women’s Super League
Bradford Bulls 38-16 Featherstone Rovers
A hat-trick for both Stacey Greenwood and Amy Hardcastle gave the Bulls a first-week win in a double header with the men’s side. Hardcastle’s first effort came after just six minutes, with a first-half double for Greenwood. Back to back tries from Featherstone, including one for Katie Hepworth, meant Bradford’s lead going into half-time was a slim 16-12.
The second half proved to be Rovers weakness as Bradford dominated. Hardcastle completed her hat-trick and Greenwood added her third of the afternoon. Despite a late consolation for Featherstone, Savannah Andrade went over late on to seal the Bradford victory.
Wigan Warriors 4-6 St Helens
Just a penalty goal seperated these local rivals in a close encounter. Wigan scored early on through Alison Burrows and they kept piling on the pressure but the Saints defence stayed strong. St Helens’ Leah Burke went over in the 22nd minute to make it 4-4.
Both sides had opportunities to grab the win, with two missed penalties, before Faye Gaskin managed to with just minutes left on the clock. Not the prettiest of games but a decent showing from both sides.
Leeds Rhinos 58-4 Wakefield Trinity
Debutant Tasha Gaines starred with a try and seven goals to give the Rhinos an emphatic win in round 1. Tries from Caitlin Beevers, Aimee Staveley, Dannielle Anderson and Sophie Robinson gave Leeds a 34-4 lead at half-time, with Saskia Lewis getting on the scoresheet for Trinity.
The second half was not much better for Wakefield and Leeds kept pushing. Frankie Townsend, Sophie Nuttall, Gaines, Amy Johnson and Anderson’s second of the afternoon meant the Rhinos were unstoppable against the newest Super League side.
York City Knights 0-80 Castleford Tigers
Castleford were in complete control throughout their 80-0 thrashing at York. Hat-tricks for Gerogie Hetherington and Esme Reynolds as well as braces from Lacey Owen, Tara Stanley and Grace Field meant there was no answer for York.
Stanley also kicked 10 goals in a 24-points haul as well as further tries for Lucy Eastwood, Kelsey Gentles and reigning Woman of Steel Georgia Roche. Even at 32-0 up at half-time, Castleford didn’t look like stopping and it was just a bad day at the office for York.
Hull FC 4-20 Stanningley
Stanningley continued a 10-0 lead at half-time to gain the two points. A close affair, wih Stanningley getting the better of the Hull side.
Stanningley kept pushing to gain a 20-0 lead before Heather Mudd crossed for Hull FC’s only score of the afternoon.
Widnes Vikings 8-16 Huddersfield Giants
The opening 10 minutes was dominated by the Vikings as Charlie McGraw crossed in the corner. Widnes couldn’t seem to add another try, despite dominating the match. Huddersfield took full advantage of this, with tries from Emmi Manning and Erin Stott. Widnes replied through a Jenny Moss score before the Giants added another from Izzy Bibby to make it 12-8 at half-time.
The second half showed some great defence from both sides not wanting to let up. Widnes were the team to crack, with Erin O’Grady getting the only try of the second forty. A tough first encounter for both sides.
Barrow 28-20 Warrington Wolves
A brand new Warrington side fell just short in heir opening fixture. Barrow went into half-time with a narrow 18-14 lead, with Warrington interchange Sarah Faulkner getting a brace.
However, Barrow were just too strong for the Wolves and sit in second in the table.
Oulton Raidettes 14-22 Leigh Miners Rangers Ladies