The opening day of the inaugural Women’s Super League was overshadowed by a string of serious injuries, which resulted in St Helens’ match with York being abandoned.
Saints player Philippa Birchall was taken to hospital after receiving treatment that delayed the game by almost an hour.
Although the game did restart, a York played also suffered a serious-looking injury soon afterwards, which prompted the match to be abandoned with Saints 40-0 ahead.
The injury to Birchall had caused concern, although team-mate Jodie Cunningham posted some encouraging news on social media.
She tweeted: “Update from her family is that all looks OK they think it’s just muscular, just waiting on x-ray results.”
However, it proved to be a day to remember for Adam Cuthbertson’s Leeds Rhinos as they defeated the defending champions Bradford Bulls, who went unbeaten last season.
The game was the headline attraction in a doubleheader at Odsal, with their male counterparts acting as a curtain-raiser earlier in the day with over 3,500 in attendance for the match.
Former Bradford star Lois Forsell scored twice, with another former Bull, Charlotte Booth, crossing for Leeds’ final try.
Wigan were the other winners on an opening day as they defeated Featherstone Rovers 54-0.
Extensive coverage of the opening day, including the thoughts of John Kear and a full page report of Leeds’ win over Bradford is available in League Express. Buy in stores today or online now at TotalRL.com/LE.