Saints Women kick off Challenge Cup defence with big win

St Helens Women beat London Broncos 76-0 in their first game of the 2023 Betfred Challenge Cup in the Capital on Saturday afternoon!

Saints opened the scoring four minutes in. Amy Taylor with an inch perfect kick to the corner and Leah Burke collected it to open the scoring. Taylor couldn’t convert, 0-4 the visitors led. The lead is increased was increased four minutes later. Saints threw the ball left and Luci McColm threw a dummy before burrowing under some tacklers to score on her debut. Taylor converted, 0-10.

The two scorers combined again shortly after. Saints again threw it through the hands down their left edge, McColm throwing a great offload to Burke who forced her way over in the corner. Taylor was unable to convert, 0-14. Try number four soon followed. Tara Jones spotted a gap from dummy half and span away from a tackler to score next to the sticks. Taylor added the two, 0-20 the Red V led midway through the first half.

Jones had a second three minutes later. Emily Rudge made a big break downfield and found the supporting Jones on her inside to go over under the sticks. Taylor converted, 0-26. Burke then completed her hat-trick towards the end of the first half. Again down the left edge, McColm found Burke who cut inside before fending off a tackle to score under the sticks for her third of the half. Taylor added the two, 0-32, which is how is stayed until the break after a dominant first 40 from the Saints in the Capital!

Three minutes into the second half, McColm had her second. London fumbled a kick in their ten, giving Saints the ball in great field position. From the scrum Saints went left and McColm spotted a gap to go over again. Taylor converted, 0-38. Our other debutant made sure she added her name to the list of try-scorers as well. A great pass from Zoe Harris found Meg Williams running a great line and she crashed over from close range for her first Saints try. Taylor converted, 0-44.

Saints had another shortly after against a tiring Broncos defence. From the kick off, the visitors moved downfield and on the last Eboni Partington found Rudge who is spun around but is able to reach out and score. Taylor converted to bring up the half century, 0-50. Try number ten of the afternoon came three minutes later, we had another. Sub, Katie Mottershead made a great break downfield before being tackled. Saints kept the ball alive the following play and Mottershead found Chantelle Crowl to go over from close range. Taylor converted, 0-56.

The visitors continued to march downfield. More pressure ended with Darcy Stott being able to break a tackle before going over the line. Taylor added the two, 0-62 Saints led. Harris then added her name to the long list of try-scorers as she threw a dummy and reached out to score to the right of the sticks. Taylor was unable to convert, 0-66.

Burke had her fourth and fifth tries towards the end of the game. Firstly, Saints got a repeat set and the ball made its way to Burke who flew over in the corner for her fourth of the day. Taylor was unable to convert, 70-0. The final try came with ten minutes to go. The visitors went through the hands again, as Partington found Jones (who came back on at centre following a re-shuffle) and she found Burke for try number five in the corner. Taylor converted, as Saints left the Capital with a 0-76 victory over London Broncos to begin their Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup defence!

Match Summary

London Broncos Team:ย Nicole Kennedy, Rosie Cairns, Rachel Humphreys, Siobhan Longdon-Hughes, Lauren Mueller, Katherine Wallis, Courtney Treco, Emily Hughes, Jessica Ingram, Susannah Neumann, Ellie Taylor, Kinesha Selby, Kathryn Salter.

Interchanges:ย Iona McCusker, Jamie Blazejewski, Eleanor Hunt-Pain, Sophie Tacuchert.

18th Player:ย Ruth Mottershead



St Helens Women Team:ย Eboni Partington, Danielle McGifford, Luci McColm, Naomi Williams, Leah Burke, Zoe Harris, Amy Taylor, Shona Hoyle, Tara Jones, Darcy Stott, Alyx Bridge, Emily Rudge, Chantelle Crowl.

Interchanges:ย Vicky Whitfield, Pip Birchall, Katie Mottershead, Megan Williams.

18th Player:ย Hannah Roberts

Tries:ย Leah Burke (4, 14, 33, 67, 70), Luci McColm (8, 43), Tara Jones (19, 22), Meg Williams (52), Emily Rudge (54), Chantelle Crowl (57), Darcy Stott (59), Zoe Harris (61)

Conversions:ย Amy Taylor (10 from 14)

HT:ย 0-32

FT:ย 0-76

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