Women’s Super League round-up: St Helens strike back against York City Knights

St Helens 12-4 York City Knights


Four weeks after their last Women’s Super League encounter, St Helens returned to action against previously unbeaten York, and following a defensive game full of character, it was they who emerged victorious at a sun-drenched Thatto Heath to keep their hopes of a top-two finish alive.

The hosts made a good start to the game, capitalising on a rare error from Tara Jane Stanley.

In the first set, Saints advanced to their own 40-metre line, but when a Zoe Harris kick was allowed to bounce, the ball moved away from the York fullback, breaking for Harris to score under the posts, allowing Beth Stott to convert and make it 6-0.

York had previously scored 183 points in league games and it was easy to see why as Sinead Peach and Stanley took control of their attack and only good defence from Leah Burke and Amy Hardcastle prevented the in-form Tamzin Renouf from responding in the fifth minute.

Saints also squandered a chance and the game ebbed and flowed with Bettie Lambert unable to take Stanley’s dangerous crossfield kick.

Jas Bell, as she had done a week earlier in the Nines, put boot on ball moments later to create panic in Saints ranks.

Unfortunately, both Carrie Roberts and Becca Rotheram collided in pursuit and after a hold-up for injury, both players left the field not to return.

This created a reshuffle with Jodie Cunningham dropping into fullback and Rachael Woosey into the centres and with much of the play between the 22-metre lines, it was the middle forwards who began to shine, with Channy Crowl leading Saints from the front and Daisy Sanderson matching her for the Knights.

After 28 minutes, Saints thought they had got away when Cunningham and Hardcastle linked to get Burke a running chance, but Stanley got across to put her into touch.

The Knights responded with points after half an hour. Peach was quick from dummy half, Stanley drifted down the left and released an overhead offload for Ashleigh Hyde to brilliantly cut back inside.

It proved too far out for Stanley to convert and the score remained 6-4 at half-time despite a startling break on the right from Woosey.

The second half again started with defences on top and Sanderson did well to continue after being hit full in the face by a clearing kick from Harris.

This started a period of ascendency from Saints that eventually saw them post points five minutes later after a Hollie Dodd charge down.

From that pressure, Woosey cut inside and drew three defenders before offloading inside to Tara Jones for the score. Stott converted again to make it 12-4.

York responded with more enterprising play. Renouf this time sent the ball wide to Lambert, who was unable to ground in the corner after 54 minutes.

Defences remained on top with Bell and Dodd taking Naomi Williams down with a brilliant tackle on the hour.

Six minutes later came the hit of the game as Lambert looked set to cross only for Burke to deny her with an almighty challenge.

This proved to be the final chance for the visitors as Saints’ composure and control of field position helped them claim an important win.


Georgia Roche, Caitlin Beevers, Fran Goldthorp, Courtney Winfield-Hill, Tasha Gaines and Sophie Robinson all crossed for two tries as LEEDS RHINOS ran away to an 82-0 victory over HUDDERSFIELD GIANTS.

The result, coupled with York’s defeat to St Helens, meant the Rhinos leapfrogged the City Knights to top spot in the table.

Hanna Butcher opened the scoring within five minutes, before Chloe Kerrigan, making her 50th Rhinos appearance, added a second next to the posts.

Roche, Beevers and Goldthorp all got their first tries of the afternoon as Leeds went into a 24-0 lead in as many minutes.

Roche, Winfield-Hill, twice, and Goldthorp, plus six Winfield-Hill conversions, put the game firmly beyond the Giants at 48-0 at the break.

Further tries followed after the break for Beevers, Jasmine Earnshaw-Cudjoe, Aimee Staveley, Gaines, twice, and Robinson, twice.

Winfield-Hill added three more successful conversions to give Leeds their biggest league win of the season.

In Group Two, WARRINGTON WOLVES ran riot to score 19 tries and condemn WAKEFIELD TRINITY to a 102-0 defeat at the Be Well Support Stadium.

Emily Baggaley led the way with four tries as the Wolves had the game wrapped up by half-time, going in 40-0 up at the break.

Charlize Magraw, Georgia Sutherland and debutant Shannon Stephens, plus one Michelle Davis goal, put the visitors 14-0 up in as many minutes and they never let up.

Baggaley, Stephens, Davis, Fern Davies and Sutherland scored further tries in the first half, with Davis adding two more goals before handing kicking duties over to Lauren Roberts, who landed one.

If the Wolves had been rampant in the first half, it’s hard to know how to describe their performance in the second 40, crossing for a further eleven tries.

Roberts, Baggaley, three times, Sutherland, Sammy Simpson, twice, Grace Ramsden, Magraw, Stephens and Lucy Eastwood, as well as nine more goals for Roberts, piled the misery on Wakefield as the Wolves remained at the top of the table.

BARROW and FEATHERSTONE ROVERS got day two of the Summer Bash under way with a closely-fought contest at Headingley, in which the Raiders held out for a 12-4 victory to keep them level on points with Warrington.

It was Featherstone who piled on the pressure in the opening stages and soon found themselves 4-0 up when Nat Carr sliced through the Raiders defence to score.

The conversion was missed, so when former Super League winner Emily Stirzaker went in out wide for Barrow, the score was level.

Both defences then held firm until the final moments of the half when Vanessa Temple left Featherstone trailing in her wake as she went 70 metres downfield to put the Raiders ahead.

The conversion attempt by Jodie Litherland was successful and Barrow went in 10-4 to the good at the break.

The second half echoed the first, with Featherstone piling the pressure on early, but this time they were unable to find a breakthrough.

Barrow did eventually edge themselves further in front when Featherstone conceded a penalty for a late tackle on Litherland, who brushed herself off and added the two points.

Five minutes later, and with only eleven remaining, Featherstone found themselves down to twelve after Jesse was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle.

The numerical advantage allowed Barrow to hold firm and take the win, which extends their lead over third-placed Featherstone to four points.

CASTLEFORD TIGERS continue to struggle at the foot of the league, going down 50-4 at LEIGH MINERS RANGERS.

Six tries in the opening half to Mackenzie Taylor, Robyn Bell-Soppelsa, Kate Howard, Molly Young, twice, and Grace Morley, left the Tigers with too much to do after the break, with five Kirsty Millington tries making it 34-0 at the break.

Substitute Lucy Johnson increased their lead a quarter of an hour into the second half before the Tigers finally got themselves on the scoresheet through Tahnee Holmes.

But a second Johnson try, plus one from Millington, who also added two second-half conversions, ran up the half-century for Rangers.

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