Proudly Founded in 1873 • 2020 Super League Champions

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Saints Thrash Rhinos

SAINTS won their first game in six matches with a classy 46-6 demolition of Leeds Rhinos.

The confidence issue of recent weeks vanished in a performance of real class, power and pace to rip the Super League Champions apart.

Highlight-reel braces for Jonny Lomax and Ade Gardner told only half the story as one to seventeen on the park could rightly be called heroes.

Saints totally dominated the first half and deservedly led 24-0.

A double from Lomax, who looked a yard quicker than he has done all season, Ade Gardner and Gary Wheeler blitzed the Rhinos.

It was nothing less than the home side deserved though as the events of the past week clearly had fired them up.

Tony Puletua ran like a man possessed whilst the new half back partnership of Lance Hohaia and Lomax released all its potential.

Paul Wellens, Wheeler and Josh Perry were also on fire but it was the added impetus of James Roby that made all the difference.

Paul Wellens bagged his 191th try in the Red Vee early in the second half whilst Zak Hardaker pulled one back for Leeds – but there did seem to be a hint of a forward pass.

Ade Gardner then sped in to finish off a great attacking play to move Saints past 40 points for the first time this season.

Saints made a strong start to the match gaining good territory and forcing Leeds on the back foot.

And on their next set they scored – the returning James Roby showing what Saints had been missing. He took a bouncing ball and improvised on the last tackle with a boot to the corner on the run.

Ade Gardner set off in chase and out-jumped Ryan Hall to get Saints on the board.

Lomax converting.

From the restart Saints got into Leeds’ 20 and forced a drop out. Five tackles later Robes found a jinking Lomax and he made it 10-0.

Soon after it was 12-0 as Lomax tagged on the extras.

Moments later it was 18-0. Roby broke down the centre, found Wilkin who had Gary Wheeler on his shoulder.

Lomax three from three.

Saints couldn’t have asked for a better start and the Langtree Park faithful were basking in the sun and the entertainment on display.

And on twenty minutes they scored again. Anthony Laffranchi produced an unbelievable offload in the middle of the park, Puletua found a gap, fed Wellens who had Lomax in support.

Lomax taking his tally to 16 points with his fourth conversion.

Saints continued to dominate and were unlucky not to stretch their lead when Roby was held up just short on the last.

And a chip to the corner with five minutes to go was well fielded under pressure by Ryan Hall.

That pressure continued in the second half with Leeds fourth drop out of the match; and Saints’ fifth try.

Once again they keep the ball alive and as it came left Paul Wellens ignored his support, cut back inside and danced over.

Lomax five from five.

Ben Jones-Bishop had a try disallowed for a knock on but Zak Hardaker did sneak through in the 53nd minute.

But Lance Hohaia bagged his first for the club 13 minutes later to deny any chance of a comeback and then Gardner grabbed his second after a superb Jon Wilkin break.

Gary Wheeler added his second off a fine team move as the clock ticked down to polish off a great night’s work.

This was a great confidence booster for a team that lacked the confidence to play like they should in recent weeks – and Saints now can look to the Derbies against Warrington and Wigan with renewed vigour.

Match Summary:

Saints:
Tries: Gardner (2), Lomax (2), Wheeler (2), Wellens, Hohaia
Goals: Lomax (7 from 8)

Rhinos:
Tries: Hardaker
Goals: Sinfield (1 from 1)

Penalties:
Saints: 2
Leeds: 1

HT: 24-0
FT: 46-6

REF: Phil Bentham

ATT: 15199

Teams:

Saints:

1. Paul Wellens; 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Michael Shenton, , 5. Francis Meli, 17. Gary Wheeler; 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Jonny Lomax; 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 9. James Roby, 8. Josh Perry, 13. Chris Flannery, 12. Jon Wilkin, 11. Tony Puletua.
Subs: 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Paul Clough, 18. Shaun Magennis.

Leeds:

14. Lee Smith; 2. Ben Jones-Bishop, 3. Kallum Watkins, 4. Zak Hardaker, 5. Ryan Hall; 13. Kevin Sinfield, 7. Rob Burrow; 8. Kylie Leuluai, 9. Paul McShane, 10. Jamie Peacock, 18. Chris Clarkson, 15. Brett Delaney, 12. Carl Ablett.
Subs: 17. Ian Kirke, 20. Darrell Griffin, 21. Richard Moore, 25. Stevie Ward.

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