Bradford Bulls Women 16 Leeds Rhinos Women 32

REIGNING Super League champions Bradford Bulls were given a rude awakening as they were well beaten by local rivals Leeds Rhinos at Odsal this afternoon in the opening match of the new campaign.

Rhinos are a new outfit, but given that their squad contains several former Bulls players, they were always going to provide a tough challenge for Bradford.

The Bulls suffered a nightmare opening 33 minutes. Rhiannon Marshall opened the scoring for the Rhinos with a try and conversion early on and that opened the floodgates for the away side.

Former Bulls star Lois Forsell drove over under the posts to help double her team's lead and she scored her second just before the half-hour mark to put the Rhinos 18-0 in front.

It was not long before Leeds added a fourth, with Sophie Robinson going over on the right flank. Marshall missed her first conversion of the day but her team now held a 22-0 lead.

Leah Jones and Amy Hardcastle showed that the home side would not go down without a fight as they scored late first-half tries to reduce the deficit to 10 points at the break.

Rhinos scored a fourth try 10 minutes into the second half through Caitlin Beevers to establish a 12-point cushion before several handling errors saw the game become scrappy.

With 10 minutes remaining, Hardcastle sustained a nasty-looking injury and she was carried off on a stretcher after a six-minute delay.

Kirsty Moroney and Charlotte Booth then traded late, unconverted tries for each side as the Rhinos ran out comfortable winners.