York City Knights Ladies secured an emphatic 46-0 victory over Wigan Warriors in their Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Group Three match this afternoon at the LNER Community Stadium.
A dominant attacking performance will see the team grab the headlines but the defensive effort to keep the visiting Warriors to nil set the platform for the victory.
The Knights took the lead early on with Savannah Andrade the beneficiary of fine work from Player of the Match Sinead Peach who threw left for half-backs Georgie Hetherington and Katie Langan to link up to give Andrade an easy finish in the left corner.
Tara Stanley’s left boot got an early test and, with the help of the left upright, converted the opening try to extend the lead in the fifth minute.
The majority of the first-half was played in Wigan’s forty and, in the twenty-sixth minute, back-row debutant Hollie Dodd crossed for her first of the afternoon after Peach’s last tackle kick bounced favourably in the in-goal for the England international to get off the mark in Knights colours.
Ash Hyde would cross seven minutes later for Lindsay Anfield’s team’s third try of a strong first half. After the ball was worked to the right flank, Hyde evaded the attentions of the Wigan left edge to ground.
Stanley, after converting Dodd’s effort, was unsuccessful in trying to add the two to Hyde’s but a dominant showing gave the Knights a 16-0 lead at the break.
Early in the second period, Dodd scored her second after making a break through the left channel. With options to her left, the back-rower instead sidestepped past the Wigan full-back to cross. Stanley converted and, thereafter, the Knights’ dominance was simply too much for Wigan.
On the forty-seventh minute, Dodd forced her way over from close range to complete her hat-trick.
Just after the hour mark, hooker Peach scored the first of her brace after powering over from dummy-half.
In the sixty-ninth minute, the Knights’ number nine crossed again after forcing her way over from close-range.
Stanley – after converting Peach’s first – left the field to be replaced by Liv Whitehead and the interchange converted to leave the score at 40-0.
It was Whitehead, then, who would wrap up proceedings with a superb individual effort. Picking the ball up from dummy-half in her own ten, she promptly galloped upfield and, after rounding the Wigan full-back, scored under the sticks to cap off an excellent Knights showing.
Her last-minute conversion sealed the 46-0 victory, leaving Anfield’s Knights with two wins from their two opening Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Group Three matches.
York City Knights Ladies: Tara Stanley, Kelsey Gentles, Savannah Andrade, Tamzin Renouf, Ashleigh Hyde, Georgie Hethertington, Katie Langan, Grace Field, Sinead Peach, Jasmine Bell, Hollie Dodd, Olivia Wood, Rhiannion Marshall.
Interchanges: Daisy Sanderson, Emma Kershaw, Liv Whitehead, Bettie Lambert, Emma Kershaw, Liv Whitehead.
Tries: Andrade (4′), Dodd (28′, 41′, 46′), Hyde (35′), Peach (60′, 68′), Whitehead (79′)
Goals: Stanley 5/6, Whitehead 2/2
Wigan Warriors Women: Georgia Wilson, Anna Davies, Gabi Leigh, Kaitlin Hilton, Ruth Thomas, Beth Hayes, Carys Marsh, Jodie Morris, Emma Dwyer, Freya Hellin, Rachael House, Jade Gregory-Haselden, Holly Speakman.
Interchanges: Olivia Harborow, Sophie Clarke, Megan Buckley, India Hickey.