St Helens send chilling warning to Women’s Super League rivals

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Saints thrashed Bradford Bulls 76-0 at Crusaders Park.

St Helens sent a chilling warning to their 2023 Women’s Super League rivals by the manner in which they thrashed Bradford Bulls in a pre-season friendly at Crusaders Park - and at the same time giving Matty Smith the perfect start to his role as head coach.

The 76-0 victory will be a confidence booster ahead of their opening league encounter at York Valkyrie on Sunday (kick-off 1pm).

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On paper, it looks like a tricky test against the ever-improving Yorkshire outfit who showed their potential by defeating defending champions Leeds 34-12 at Headingley on Easter Sunday.

Cup holders St Helens have also lost the valuable service of Amy Hardcastle to the Rhinos but have recruited two St Helens locals, Lucie Sams and Luci McColm, from neighbours Wigan.

Smith, a former Saints’ half back, said: "Both have been outstanding in training and when I first learned they were local girls and had also played for Thatto Heath, I also knew what representing your hometown club meant to them."

He went on: "Everyone welcomed me to the club with open arms. I am learning something every day and can’t wait for the season to officially start "

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The women’s cup final will be played at Wembley Stadium for the first time on Saturday, August 12 (kick-off noon) and hopefully by then the women will be chasing a league and cup double.

They have also been licked into shape under the guidance of the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment at their Chester camp - carrying out several tasks, including using a map to negotiate muddy areas, building a tent, climbing hills and walking while blindfolded.

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