The third season of the eagerly anticipated Women’s Super League kicked off today with the highlight being the clash between local rivals Wigan and St Helens at Robin Park.
With Saints having the bragging rights in the men’s Super League, cherry and white fans were hoping their Women’s team, who won the Grand Final in Manchester last year, would restore some local pride.
In a bruising encounter though, and some tremendous goal line defence, Saints defeated the reigning Champions 6-4.
The Red Vee trailed early after a try from Wigan but they pulled level just before half-time with a try from Leah Burke.
The second half was scoreless until near the end when Wigan were reduced to 11 with two sin bins.
A great penalty from Faye Gaskin late on sent the two points back over the Billing lump to St Helens.
Last year’s League leaders and beaten Grand Finalists Leeds started with a comfortable win over newly-promoted Wakefield.
Trinity were added to the seven teams that competed last year to make a nice round number of eight sides and were handed a tough assignment in week one.
The Rhinos raced into a 34-4 first half lead with tries from Beevers (2), Staveley, Anderson and Robinson with Saskia Lewis replying for Wakefield.
In the second half Leeds kept Trinity scoreless adding tries by Townsend, Nuttall, another for Anderson, Gaines and Johnson.
Bradford started their campaign with a 38-16 win over Featherstone. Amy Hardcastle scored early to put the Bulls 6-0 up and two Stacey Greenwood tries gave Bradford a 16-0 lead.
Rovers pulled it back to 16-12 at the break with two tries but the Bulls ran out comfortable winners in the end with Hardcastle and Greenwood both completing their hat-tricks.
Last year’s beaten semi-finalists Castleford scored 15 unanswered tries to beat York City Knights 80-0.
Hat-tricks from Georgia Hetherington, Esme Reynolds and Tara Stanley helped make it a great start for the Tigers after Lacey Owen set them on their way early on.
Woman of Steel Georgia Roche was also among the scorers along with Kelsey Gentles and Lucy Eastwood.
Stanley had a personal tally of 32 points in the game in a very impressive start for Castleford. A tough day for the Knights but they live to fight another day.
A great season lies ahead for the Women’s Super League. The competition continues next week with the tie of the round probably Castleford’s trip to Wigan.
*Picture credit twitter @saints1890