York City Knights inflicted St Helens first defeat since October 2019 as Lindsay Anfield’s side came away with an impressive 13-6 win in their first home game of the Women’s Betfred Super League.
After a 6-50 win over the Huddersfield Giants in round one of the Betfred Women’s Super League, York were looking to overcome a St Helens side that had already won the Challenge Cup this season and had caused the Knights problems in the past.
St Helens opened the scoring after a war of attrition in the opening twelve minutes with both defences standing strong with the Knights applying sustained pressure on the Saints’ backline.
It would be Leah Burke who found the try line for Saints on the twelve-minute mark on the back of a break from half-back Zoe Harris who set the visitors up nicely with field possession. Burke was the recipient of a well-timed pass, managing to weave her way past the Knights’ defence and touch down. Harris converted the try to give Saints a 0-6 lead.
Lindsay Anfield’s side continued to mount pressure on the St Helens backline, despite the early setback, with the ball being worked well across the Saints defence.
Sinead Peach put in a pinpoint grubber kick into the in-goal area with Grace Field using her well-timed instincts to dive on the ball to score on the 18th minute with Tara Jane Stanley converting to make the scores level at 6-6.
The defence from both sides was immaculate for the remainder of the first half with the scores locked at 6-6.
Not only did the weather heat up but so did the pace and intensity of the matchup on the field with Field delivering a big hit which was followed by a sin bin for Georgia Taylor a few moments later.
Despite being a player down, the Knights took the lead after sustained pressure once again on the Saints’ line.
Full-back Tara Jane Stanley powered her way over the line stretching her arm over the whitewash in the fifty-sixth minute after finding a gap in what was so far a strong and resilient St Helens defence to give York a 10-6 lead. Stanley converted her own try to make it 12-6.
As the fixture reached its grandstand conclusion, the home fans continued to show their support for the entertaining style of rugby league that the Knights were playing.
Full-back Tara Jane Stanley sealed the game with three minutes left on the clock with a pinpoint drop goal from twenty metres out to hand the Knights a famous 13-6 win.
YORK CITY KNIGHTS LINE UP: Tara Jane Stanley, Olivia Whitehead, Tamzin Renouf, Emma Kershaw, Georgia Taylor, Georgie Hetherington, Jasmine Bell, Olivia Gale, Hollie Dodd, Savannah Andrade, Grace Field, Sinead Peach, Olivia Wood
INTERCHANGES: Ash Hyde, Daisy Sanderson, Emily Farrow, Matilda Butler
TRIES: Grace Field (18) Tara Jane Stanley (56)
GOALS: Tara Jane Stanley 2/2
DROP GOAL: Tara Jane Stanley (77)
ST HELENS LINE UP: Rebecca Rotherham, Eboni Partington, Amy Hardcastle, Rachael Woosey, Leah Burke, Zoe Harris, Jodie Cunningham, Shona Hoyle, Tara Jones, Isabelle Rudge, Naomi Williams, Emily Rudge, Chantelle Crowl.
INTERCHANGES: Victoria Whitfield, Paige Travis, Philippa Birchall, Katie Mottershead
TRIES: Leah Burke (12)
GOALS: Zoe Harris 1/1
PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Savannah Andrade – Prestons’ Kitchens