Women's Challenge Cup: Georgia Roche stars in Leeds Rhinos' 38-8 win at Huddersfield Giants

Former Woman of Steel Georgia Roche produced a star turn for Leeds Rhinos when they began their Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup campaign with a 38-8 win over Huddersfield Giants at John Smith’s Stadium today.
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Signed from Castleford Tigers in the off-season, the stand-off scored two first half tries and set up another as Leeds recovered from conceding the opening score after just seven minutes.

Roche was one of four debutants in Rhinos’ 17 for their first competitive game of the year, alongside winger Sophia Williams, prop Emma Lumley and substitute Alexandra Barnes.

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At the other end of the scale, full-back Caitlin Beevers and prop Aimee Staveley became the first two players to make 50 appearances for Leeds’ women.

Georgia Roche had an outstanding debut for Rhinos. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Georgia Roche had an outstanding debut for Rhinos. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Georgia Roche had an outstanding debut for Rhinos. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Giants went ahead through Amelia Brown, but Rhinos hit back almost immediately when Roche pounced after her kick was fumbled by the home side and Samantha Hulme booted the first of four conversions from as many attempts before the interval.

An outstanding break by Roche set up a try for Fran Goldthorp moments later and - after a foot in touch denied Brown a second score - the stand-off struck again with a brilliant solo effort, dummying into space and rounding the full-back.

Leeds, who withstood some heavy pressure on their line in the first quarter, added a fourth try just before half-time when Keara Bennett danced over from acting-half.

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Shannon Lacey set up a try for Tasha Gianes, who had a good game at scrum-half, then went in for Rhinos’ sixth try, which Hulme converted.

Rhinos and Giants take to the field at the start of the new-look Women's Challenge Cup competition. Picture by Luke Smith.Rhinos and Giants take to the field at the start of the new-look Women's Challenge Cup competition. Picture by Luke Smith.
Rhinos and Giants take to the field at the start of the new-look Women's Challenge Cup competition. Picture by Luke Smith.

Hulme, playing on the left-wing, crossed following good play by Chloe Kerrigan but Giants scored a deserved second try through Angel Howey to complete the scoring.

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