Mel Howard was named in the Women's Rugby League team of the week for her efforts against the Bulldogs. Pictured in the background is Kylie Hilder, who kicked off Newcastle's scoring efforts.

Newcastle have moved into first place in the NSW Women’s Premiership, after a dominant 44-2 win over the Bulldogs in Belmore last weekend.

Commanding rake Kylie Hilder opened proceedings just eight minutes in, before Claire Reed and Bobbi Law piled on the points in the 11th and 14th minutes. Hannah Southwell burst from the second row three minutes later to put Newcastle well in the lead on the road against the Canterbury-Bankstown side.

Skye Mckenzie struck in the 26th and 46th minute to record the only double of the match, while Isabelle Kelly and Holli Wheeler – both of whom have been confirmed to be playing NRLW in the upcoming season – rounded out the 42-point shellacking.

The Bulldogs were able to get on the scoreboard against the CRL side, but only through a penalty chance. Home-side kicker Tayla Kafoa slotted two points to get them off the mark in the 5th minute, though it proved the only they’d lead all afternoon.

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Mel Howard and Sky Mckenzie, who kicked four and two goals respectively, were named in the Women’s Rugby League team of the week for their efforts at Belmore Sports Ground on Saturday. Together they combined for 20 of the 44 points.

The team now heads into their bye round buoyed by two points at the top of the table. The Mounties, Sharks, and Bears all lie in wait in the second-to-fourth positions, each with 16 points after nine games.

Though Newcastle hasn’t been the strongest defensive side in the competition – the Mounties boast that honour with just 56 points conceded – the CRL side has been the most dangerous attacking side. They have chalked 264 points in 10 games, 44 more than the next closest season haul for the Sharks.

Newcastle 44 (Skye McKenzie 2, Kylie Hilder, Claire Reed, Bobbi Law, Hannah Southwell, Isabelle Kelly, Holli Wheeler tries; Mel Howard 4, Sky Mckenzie 2 goals) def. Bulldogs 2 (Tayla Kafoa penalty goal).