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St Helens were strong 18-8 winners over the Leeds Rhinos when tonight’s Challenge Cup hopefuls met in a regular round Super League encounter last weekend, and the bookies made the visitors slight favourites again by giving the Rhinos a two-point start on the handicap coupon.

The Rhinos had Paul Momirovski back in the centres alongside Rhyse Martin while Saints had Waqa Blake in the centres and Moses Mbye at scrum half for Lewis Dodd, and Curtis Sironen back in the starting line-up with Batchelor on the bench.

A place in the quarter finals was up for grabs and on paper there was little to choose between the two sides.

Leeds were on the defensive from the first whistle but despite dominating the early exchanges the visitors took their first opportunity to take the lead thanks to a Jonny Lomax penalty goal after interference at the play the ball.

On fifteen Lomax was on target with a second penalty kick, this time after the Rhinos lifted above the horizontal in the tackle. Saints taking the points where they could.

The Rhinos levelled the scores on twenty-seven thanks to a length of the field break from Harry Newman after taking the interception and outpacing the Saints chasers to score under the sticks. Martin added the conversion to put the Rhinos into a 6-4 lead.

Five minutes from half time and Saints should have been level after the Rhinos stole the ball in a two-man tackle, but Lomax was unable to add a third goal of the night.

In the last minutes of the half the Rhinos defence were unable to stop a junking run from Daryl Clark and he was able to push Mikolaj Oledzki aside to get the ball on the ground. Lomax found the target and the visitors took a 10-6 lead into the interval.

The Rhinos had the best of the early exchanges in the second half but couldn’t add to their score. On fifty-six the Rhinos lost Tom Holroyd for a fracas after getting involved after a tackle, and he was then joined by Daryl Clark for his part in the shenanigans.

Within a minute of the sin-binning Jon Bennison was on hand at the end of a fast-passing move to score in the corner after a Joe Batchelor grubber ricocheted off Leeds feet and into Saints hands. Lomax added the conversion from the touchline, Saints with a ten-point advantage.

Saints had the win in the bag on seventy when Alex Walmsley collected and grounded a James Bell grubber for the third Saints try of the night. Lomax was off target again, but the lead was fourteen points, the game was over.

Saints into the quarter final draw hat after a second consecutive win at Headingley, the Rhinos with no answer to the Saints onslaught and zero ideas when on the attack in the Saints half. In all honesty Saints barely needed to get out of second gear to get the win, delight for Paul Wellens, another hammer blow for Rohan Smith.

Leeds Rhinos: Miller, Roberts, Newman (T), Martin (G), Handley, Croft, Frawley, Oledzki, Ackers, Sangare, McDonnell, Bentley, Smith.  Subs: Holroyd (SB on 59), Lisone, Roberts, O’Connor. 18th Man: Goudemand.

St Helens: Welsby, Blake, Hurrell, Mata’utia, Bennison, Lomax (3G), Mbye, Walmsley (T), Clark (T, SB on 59)), Lees, Whitley, Sironen, Knowles. Subs: Delaney, Batchelor, Bell, Wingfield. 18th Man: Davies. 

Half-Time: 6-10.

Full-Time: 6-20.

Score Progression: 0-2, 0-4, 4-4, 6-4, 6-8, 6-10 : HT: (SB), (SB), 6-14, 6-16, 6-20 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: St Helens – Square – Leeds – St Helens.

Referee: Chris Kendall.

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 22nd Mar 2024 9:39 PM | Views : 3719 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES