Rugby League

Army's England Star Is Hat-Trick Hero On Super League Debut

Staff Sergeant Carrie Roberts scored a hat-trick of tries in her first appearance for St Helens.

British Army and England rugby league star Staff Sergeant Carrie Roberts has made a spectacular start to her Super League career by scoring a hat-trick on her debut for St Helens.

The player, who returned to the international set-up after a six-year hiatus, was instrumental in an 86-0 drubbing of Bradford Bulls.

SSgt Roberts, who has also been a key player for the rugby union team during her Army career, was pleased with her start to the season and hopes to see more Army involvement in the Super League.

Her first try came after just nine minutes as she forced her way over the line with powerful running.

SSgt Roberts said: "I think the first one was just sheer commitment to get over the line. In the first five minutes, I did miss a tackle and I was a bit disappointed in myself.

"So after that, I thought 'if I do get this ball, I'm going to power through as hard as I possibly can'.

"It was fantastic. I don't think I could have asked for a better debut," she added.

The England international scored twice more to seal a hat-trick and she thinks good preparation was key to St Helens' dominant performance.

"We just went out and just proved all the hard work we've put into the game – we just put it out on the field that day," she said.

"We were so excited. There was a bit of nerves being the first game back after such a long amount of time.

"Probably after the first 10 minutes, we all settled down and we just executed everything that we planned to execute.

Army rugby league women team celebrate winning Challenge Shield Final.
The Army Women's historic Challenge Shield win in 2019 has proven to be a launching pad to the Super League for a number of military players.

"In training in defence, we go hard at each other. We don't go lightly in training.

"When it comes to games, we can execute the sort of things we've learnt from our coaches."

Roberts is now playing at one of the top levels in the women's game and she's hoping to learn from some of the inspirational players around her.

She said: "There's some great ambassadors for rugby league. The sort of standards they set are just inspiring.

"You go out there and just want to be exactly like them, work just hard as them and thanks to them the growth of the game is improving.

"Competition is really high now."

The Army Women's team's 2019 Challenge Shield victory was the first time a military team had won a domestic title.

That group of players is now starting to impress in the Super League, according to Roberts.

She said: "The 2019 season was so successful and I know that quite a few of the Super League teams, from the top standard teams to obviously lower standard teams, have been asking about the Army Women to come and join their club.

"We were beating York City Knights and Featherstone just as an Army team last year so it is testament to what we do when we are with the Army girls.

"They've just kicked on from there and gone to Super League clubs."

The experienced Army player also pointed out two military stars she expects big things from.

"Tara Moxton is with the England Performance Unit and she's been fantastic. She's so athletic and young. She's got a lot of time ahead of her," she said.

"She'll go out and she'll smash it.

"Also, Tilly Butler, she's gone to Featherstone Rovers as well. That's only going to improve her game when she comes back to the Army set-up."