Cardiff Demons women's rugby league team line-up before historic first match. Pic: Wales RL

Cardiff Demons Banish The Ferns As They Make Women’s Rugby League History

By Ian Golden at SGS Bristol

The new Cardiff Demons Women’s Super League South side had an outstanding start to life on Saturday when they stormed to an 88-6 win over Golden Ferns in Bristol.

Their hosts, the female arm of the All Golds club, were on the back foot from the start after Wales captain Shaunni Davies scored in under 90 seconds. Ffion Lewis, who became Wales’ 100th dual code international rugby player last week, converted.

Davies soon went over for her second try two minutes later and the scores continued quickly. Lowri Norkett was over for the third on six minutes and the Demons scored four more before the 20 minute mark.

Eleri Michael, Ffion Lewis and Charlie Mundy all went over with Davies completing her hat-trick in style. Lewis added a further two goals to make the score 38-0.

After stopping for a water break halfway through the half, the Demons were enthused more and straight away Seren Gough-Walters slipped through to ground near to the sticks and Lewis converted.

Two more tries followed in the next ten minutes as Norkett went over for her second and Kim Boaler added another. Both were out wide making the conversions difficult.

Credit to the Golden Ferns as they kept Cardiff out for the final ten minutes of the first half and showed some promise in attack too, but the resilient Demons held them off and were 52-0 up at half-time.

The Welsh came storming out of the traps again in the second half as Norkett got her hat-trick with Davies adding her fourth. Lewis and Boaler each ran over for their second tries to push the Demons up to 72-0 on the hour mark.

Michael scored her second try following the restart before the hosts finally got on the board in the 66th minute. It came after they were awarded a penalty 30 metres out from the Demons’ line. From that set, Ella Dawkins forced her way over the line to ensure the home side didn’t have a zero by their name. Victoria Mansell converted.

However Cardiff weren’t going to let them score a second. Instead they increased their lead further as Molly Reardon ran over for their 16th try with Lewis successfully converting for the 10th time.

Norkett got her fourth of the game in the final few minutes with Lewis failing to convert, as the victory was cemented.

This match was the first in a double header at the Bristol ground. After Cardiff Demons women were victorious, Valley Cougars completed a Welsh double by beating the All Golds men’s side 70-16 with Liam Watton scoring four first half tries in the victory.

GOLDEN FERNS
1 Emma Mingo
2 Olivia Clarke
3 Gemma Tyrrell
4 Ella Dawkins
5 Alisa Shaw
6 Victoria Mansell
7 Sarah Humphries
8 Nyima Touray
9 Eli Mei
10 Laura Panting
14 Claire Knighton
12 Anne-Marie Sayle
13 Annie-Beth Allen (c)
Subs:
15 Nuala Coleman
16 Katy Hancock
17 Cerys Brown
18 Katherine Corbain

Tries: Dawkins (66)
Goals: Mansell 1/1

DEMONS
1 Eleri Michael
19 Leanna Maybank
3 Lowri Norkett
4 Seren Gough-Walters
5 Chelcey Greasley
6 Amberley Ruck
7 Shaunni Davies (c)
8 Stacey Wright
9 Ffion Lewis
10 Danyelle Dinapoli
11 Kim Boater
12 Charlie Mundy
13 Joeann McGuire
Subs:
14 Molly Reardon
16 Caitlin Brown
15 Ffion Jenkins
17 Ceri-Louise Wanklyn

Tries: Davies (2, 4, 18, 47), Norkett (6, 25, 42, 78), Michael (12, 61), Lewis (15, 49), Mundy (20), Gough-Walters (22), Boaler (28, 56), Reardon (71)
Goals: Lewis 10/17

Referee: Kristoff Young
Half-time: 0-52

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