York City Knights maintained their 100% record in the Betfred Women's Super League with a hard-fought 24-10 victory over Leeds Rhinos at the LNER Community Stadium.
Tries from Tara Jane Stanley, Alisha Clayton, Tamzin Renouf and Olivia Wood saw the Knights record their third win of the season after picking up wins over Huddersfield Giants and St Helens.
The Leeds Rhinos opened the scoring in the eighth minute after sustained pressure on the Knights’ goal line.
Quick passes through the middle saw loose forward Zoe Hornby power her way over the try line to make it 4-0 to the West Yorkshire side with Samantha Hulme’s kick hitting the post.
Lindsay Anfield’s side hit back at the Rhinos just after the tenth minute after themselves applying pressure to the Leeds line.
Fullback Stanley picked up a well-timed inside pass and used her quick feet to dance around the Rhinos’ defence, putting on the afterburners and scoring to tie the game at 4-4. Stanley’s conversion attempt was just short of the posts.
Stonewall defence was on show from both sides through the opening forty minutes with the Knights being kept out multiple times despite Stanley and Kelsey Gentles’ best efforts.
Both sides were reduced to twelve players with Rhiannion Marshall sent off for the Knights whilst Jasmine Cudjoe was sent to the sin bin as the half-time hooter sounded with the Knight deemed guilty of punching.
The home side, however, started the second half on the front foot with Alisha Clayton scoring her first try of the 2022 season after sustained pressure on the Rhinos line. The ball was shipped through the middle and Clayton powered her way over from short range.
Stanley continued her player of the match performance kicking a penalty goal at the 52-minute mark to give her side a 12-4 lead.
On the stroke of the 66 minutes, the Rhinos hit back to get themselves back in the fixture when Zoe Hornby went over from short range once again for her second of the afternoon.
Tamzin Renouf then sealed the game for the Knights as they used their quick line speed to outplay the Rhinos in the attacking department with Renouf making a perfect run on to an inside pass to barge her way over the try line and make it 16-10. Tara Stanley converted to make it 18-10.
Lindsay Anfield’s side continued to show why they will be at the top end of the Super League table with momentum continuing to swing their way.
Olivia Wood used the momentum that the Knights had gathered in the fixture to crash over the try line and take her side to their third Super League win of the season.
YORK CITY KNIGHTS LINEUP: Tara Jane Stanley, Liv Whitehead, Tamzin Renouf, Ashleigh Hyde, Kelsey Gentles, Lacey Owen, Olivia Gale, Grace Field, Sinead Peach, Olivia Wood, Hollie Mae Dodd, Savannah Andrade, Jasmine Bell
INTERCHANGES: Georgia Taylor, Daisy Sanderson, Rhiannion Marshall, Alisha Clayton
TRIES: Tara Jane Stanley (13), Alisha Clayton (47), Tamzin Renouf (70), Olivia Wood (78)
GOALS: Tara Jane Stanley 3/4
RED CARD: Rhiannon Marshall (40)
LEEDS RHINOS LINEUP: Francesca Goldthorp, Natasha Gaines, Hanna Butcher, Caitlin Beevers, Samantha Hulme, Georgia Roche, Jasmine Cudjoe, Dannielle Anderson, Keara Bennett, Bethany Lockwood, Chloe Kerrigan, Elychia Watson, Zoe Hornby,
INTERCHANGES: Alexandra Barnes, Ella Johnson, Shannon Lacey, Elle Frain
TRIES: Zoe Hornby (8, 66)
GOALS: Samantha Hulme 1/2
SIN-BIN: Jasmine Cudjoe (40)