YORK City Knights Ladies' tough start to life in the Women's Super League continued with a heavy 72-10 defeat at Bradford Bulls.

The West Yorkshire club won the pilot elite competition last year and, although they have begun this season with successive defeats to Leeds Rhinos, St Helens and Castleford Tigresses, they found their form against a Minster city outfit still getting used to top-level sport.

Shona Hoyle opened the scoring at Odsal in the fourth minute and created the Bulls' second try three minutes later, putting Jess Courtman away for winger Leah Jones to finish.

After a period of even play, with the hosts needing robust defence to keep York out, Courtman got the third try down the left to make it 14-0 midway through the first half.

Heather MacDonald sauntered through a large gap, England international Courtman sidestepped in for her second and by half-time it was 44-0 after four more touchdowns, the pick coming from the pacy Jones, who sprinted in from halfway.

Second-half home tries followed from Kirsty Moroney, after great work by Reagan Walker, and Claire Garner, carrying several defenders over the line with her, before the Knights finally crossed the whitewash in the 55th minute on the back of two penalties - Paige Stevens the scorer.

York allowed the restart to go dead, though, and Debbie Smith soon scored two quickfire tries to up the lead.

Stunning defence by Hoyle stopped the Knights from scoring a second try but the visitors did get further reward for their efforts when Kayleigh Walker scored a long-range effort from an interception close to York's own line.

However, Smith completed her hat-trick to have the last word for Bradford, for whom Claire Garner (6) and Reagan Walker (2) added the conversions.