Rochdale Hornets Women went down 40-8 in a valiant performance away at Hull Kingston Rovers in their opening game of the League 1 season.
The girls, who only began training together in January, started well, with Joanne Mullins opening the scoring, before Rovers came back into the game with some effective play. The hosts showed the benefits of structured rugby, capitalising on errors from Hornets to lead at half time.
The debutants rallied in the second half, roaring back through a try from Anna Simpson and showing impressive defence and line speed to only lose the second half 12-4. The Hornets team improved as the game went on and showed the benefits of their training and how much they had learned from their hit out against an established team. As well as try scorers Anna Simpson and Joanne Mullins, special praise was reserved for Leah Day, voted as player of the match by the Hull KR team, and Armani Khaliq, chosen by her fellow Hornets as their standout.
“I’m extremely proud of my side,” said coach David Chrimes. “They fought back against a big Hull KR side and played some great rugby which was a pleasure to watch.” Captain Laura Richards was also upbeat: “Really proud of everyone today!” she said. “It was a tough game against an experienced side and everyone stepped up. Bring on the 28th!”
The Hornets Women’s next game is on the 28th of April, away at Halifax. The team will continue to train twice a week at Rochdale Mayfield Sports Centre, Castleton, at 6-30pm on Mondays and Thursdays. New players are always welcome and no previous experience is required.