Leicester Tigers made a winning start in the Women’s Championship North with nine tries in a 57-5 victory away to Bishop Auckland on Sunday.
In their first-ever league fixture, Tigers banked five points in County Durham after tries from Zoe Evans (2), Molly Draycott (2), Morgan Richardson, Roisin McBrien, Katie Childs, Lucrezia Iavarone and a penalty try.
The visitors had to defend in the opening stages as Bishop enjoyed most of the territory before breaking out for wing Evans to score the team’s first league try after seven minutes.
Ellie Turner converted after Draycott broke away to score from halfway and then scrum-half Richardson benefited from the bounce of the ball as she chased a kick ahead as the lead reached 19 points.
Evans added a second as she burst down the right from halfway to bank a bonus point, then McBrien followed an interception from Louisa Birgham to score the fifth, with Turner adding a conversion.
The penalty try came just before half-time after a high tackle on hooker Sam Williams, with the Bishop player also receiving a yellow card as the lead reached 38 points at the break.
Draycott scored her second after strong maul work provided the opportunity to attack and replacement centre Childs then forced her way over the line to bring up the half-century.
A try for the hosts came just short of the hour mark, retaining possession to create some space on the right, with Tanya Bird sin-binned in defence.
But Tigers finished strongly, opening some space for Iavarone to add the final try, converted by Turner to complete the winning start to league rugby.
FULL-TIME IN ROUND 1
FULL-TIME SCORE: Bishop Auckland Ladies 5-57 Leicester Tigers. Bonus-point win on debut for Tigers with Molly Draycott, Katie Childs and Lucrezia Iavarone scoring second-half tries following earlier efforts by Zoe Evans (2), Draycott, Morgan Richardson, Roisin McBrien and a penalty try. Five points on the board in Women's Championship North 1.
Bishop Auckland Ladies 0-38 Leicester Tigers. Zoe Evans scored the team’s first-ever league try after seven minutes and scores have followed from Molly Draycott, Morgan Richardson, Evans again, Roisin McBrien and then a penalty try after a high tackle on Sam Williams.
The first women's league match in Leicester Tigers club history is underway in County Durham in Round 1 of the Championship North 1 campaign.