Castleford Women’s game played without posts – as new half-back pair impress

Sebastian Sternik

Castleford Women’s coach Lindsay Anfield was impressed by her new half-back pairing of Women of Steel Georgia Roche and new signing Claire Garner at the weekend.

Garner, a headline signing of the season, made her debut and won the player of the match award as Castleford beat York City Knights Ladies 52-8.

Another new signing, Rhiannion Marshall, bagged her first try in Castleford colours, but it was Alex Wallace who stole the show, notching a double hat-trick of tries.

Bizarrely, the game was played without goalposts, meaning no conversions, due to the main pitch being unfit to host the game, meaning the game was moved to a second pitch.

Anfield said: “We had a new half back pairing today in Claire Garner and Georgia Roche which looked raw but incredibly impressive at times.

“Claire’s kicking game and great talk was something we lacked last season. Credit to York though, they kept going until the end and looked dangerous when they got in our half.”

York, who ended last season at the foot of the Women’s Super League table, got off to the worst possible start and conceded three tries in less than 12 minutes. Wallace, Marshall and Woman of Steel Georgia Roche all crossed the whitewash as the visitors took an early 12-0 lead.

Three further efforts for Wallace and a first for youngster Courtney Pointon made the score 28-0 at the half-way mark.

York battled back when both teams returned and even threatened a comeback when they scored twice in the space of four minutes.

However, the visitors quickly recovered from their half time hangover and quickly restored their 28-point lead with two further tries.

Late on in the second half Roche showed why she was named the Woman of Steel following a spectacular individual try which saw the young half back race over 50 meters to score her second try.

Also in the second half, fans got their first glimpse of Greek player Maria Nikolopoulou as the forward made her debut for the Tigers.

York tired towards the end of the game which allowed the Tigers to score three more tries; including two more for Wallace who completed her double hat-trick.

The day was not all that bad for the Knights who after the game were invited to watch the men take on Toronto Wolfpack at Bootham Crescent.