York City Knights Ladies trounce Bradford Bulls Women 76-4 in the Challenge Cup

York City Knights Ladies loose forward Olivia Wood scored a hat-trick against Bradford Bulls Women. Picture: Craig Hawkhead
York City Knights Ladies loose forward Olivia Wood scored a hat-trick against Bradford Bulls Women. Picture: Craig Hawkhead

YORK City Knights Ladies secured top spot in Group Three of the Betfred Women's Challenge Cup by thrashing Bradford Bulls Women 76-4 at Odsal.

York ran in a total of 15 tries during a dominant 80 minutes, with Olivia Wood and Kelsey Gentles each finishing with hat-tricks.

The rout ensured that the Knights finished the Cup's group stage matches with a 100 per cent record, having scored 200 points and conceded just four in the process.

Next up for Lindsay Anfield's side is a home quarter-final against the runners-up of Group Four, which consists of Featherstone Rovers, Oulton Raidettes, Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers, on the weekend of April 9-10.

York will likely enter into that final eight clash as the strong favourites given their comprehensive performances in the group phase.

In their final group match at Odsal, it took only four minutes for the Knights to go in front.

England prop Grace Field showed good footwork to get past a defender a couple of metres before proving too strong for three Bradford bodies.

With usual kicker Tara Stanley rested - alongside fellow regular starts Sinead Peach and Rhiannion Marshall - Olivia Whitehead took the conversion, scoring her first of eight goals.

There was a great element of fortune when York went over for their second try as Katie Langan's chip kick struck the posts and bounced kindly into the hands of Wood for her first score.

Another England international, Savannah Andrade, then got on the scoresheet as she dotted down a swift shift play left before Field bagged her second, diving under the sticks from a short Langan pass.

Wood then also doubled her personal tally by easily brushing off some tame Bulls defence from close range.

The Bradford backline were then caught napping on their short side as York attackers queued up in the right corner, with Tamzin Renouf going over from Georgie Hetherington sharp ball.

On 35 minutes, Georgia Taylor bagged the best try of the game. Starting from halfway, Olivia Gale offloaded smartly and some quick hands on the right put Taylor over the whitewash.

There remained time for another first-half try as Hetherington darted out of dummy half and through the Bulls' goal-line defence.

York picked up from where they left off after the restart as England's Kelsey Gentles, from off the bench, touched down a cut-out pass from Hollie Dodd for the first of her treble.

Renouf completed her double by selling a close-range dummy before the Knights conceded their first and only try from three matches this year as Jamie-Leigh Scott went over.

Normal service resumed when Wood sealed her hat-trick by stepping away from four Bradford defenders and Renouf offloaded to put Ashleigh Hyde in at the corner.

Knights captain Katie Langan got in on the act as she scythed through a broken Bulls line.

In the final dozen minutes, Gentles wrapped up her second-half hat-trick through an incredible solo run from halfway and a rampaging left-flank line break.

York City Knights Ladies: Whitehead, Lambert, Renouf, Andrade, Taylor, Gale, Langan, Sanderson, Hetherington, Wood, Dodd, Kershaw, Field.

Subs: Hyde, Gentles, Bell, Tiplady.