St Helens Women suffered a 26-6 defeat against York Valkyrie on Sunday afternoon in their season opener.

Saints made the most of the good field position. From the scrum Saints go left as Rebecca Rotheram finds Leah Burke who fends off a challenge to score in the corner! Amy Taylor converted from the left touchline, 0-6 Saints led.

York replied minutes before the halfway point of the first half. Following a Saints knock on in midfield, Valkyrie moved downfield and had space on their left edge, Emma Kershaw stepped inside to score. Tara Jane Stanley was unable to convert, 4-6 Saints led. Saints captain Jodie Cunningham had to be helped from the field following the try, she wasn’t to return to the game afterwards.

York grabbed another shortly after. The ball was moved right and NRLW bound Hollie-Mae Dodd stepped inside before reaching her way over to score. Stanley converted, 10-6 the hosts led. Saints also lost Rebecca Rotheram to an injury shortly after the try, as they were left with just two interchanges for the remainder of the game.

Despite both sides threatening, those were the final points of a tight first half in Yorkshire, as Saints trailed 10-6 at the LNER Community Stadium.

It took until the 61st minute for the next score. Tamzin Renouf broke down their right edge and then sidestepped past Eboni Partington to stroll over. Stanley converted, 16-6.

Another quickly followed. Rhiannon Marshall threw a dummy and broke through a weak Saints line to go under the sticks. Stanley converting, 22-6.

The final score of the game came with two minutes to go. Renouf again made a big break down the right edge and outpaced Partington to score in the corner.

Match Summary

York Valkyrie Team: Tara Jane Stanley, Ashleigh Hyde, Tamzin Renouf, Emma Kershaw, Ellie Hendry, Hollie-Mae Dodd, Olivia Gale, Olivia Wood, Sinead Peach, Aimme Staveley, Lacey Owen, Savannah Andrade, Rhiannon Marshall.

Interchanges: Georgia Taylor, Jasmine Bell, Grace Field, Georgie Hetherington.

Tries: Emma Kershaw (19), Hollie-Mae Dodd (25), Tamzin Renouf (61, 78), Rhiannon Marshall (66)

Conversions: Tara-Jane Stanley (3 from 5)

St Helens Women Team: Rebecca Rotheram, Danielle McGifford, Eboni Partington, Naomi Williams, Leah Burke, Zoe Harris, Amy Taylor, Shona Hoyle, Tara Jones, Chantelle Crowl, Alyx Bridge, Emily Rudge, Jodie Cunningham.

Interchanges: Vicky Whitfield, Pip Birchall, Darcy Stott, Katie Mottershead.

Tries: Leah Burke (9)

Conversions: Amy Taylor (1 from 1)

HT: 10-6

FT: 26-6