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Saints’ first half display does the damage in win over Rhinos

Four first half converted tries did the damage as the Saints defeated a dogged Leeds Rhinos by 36 points to 10 at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday night.

Two early tries from Kevin Naiqama and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook put Saints in control in the opening minutes before Brad Dwyer pulled a try back for the visitors. Saints went in twice more through Lachlan Coote and a spectacular try from Tommy Makinson capped off an impressive first half.

Leeds started the second half the better going over through Luke Briscoe which reduced the deficit to 24-10, but Saints dug in and scored two late tries through LMS’ second and young James Bentley with Coote kicking all six goals in a 36-10 victory.

Saints got off to the perfect start in the opening minute off the match as a high bomb from Coote was fumbled by Jack Walker and the on rushing Naiqama picked up the loose ball to score. Coote added the extras.

The second try came shortly after the first as Lomax threw the dummy and broke the defensive line before feeding LMS who touched down under the posts. Coote again on the mark to add the extras giving Saints a 12-0 lead within five minutes.

Leeds pulled a try back through Dwyer as the hooker crashed his way over from close range after a quick play of the ball caught Saints off guard. Liam Sutcliffe added the two reducing the deficit to 12-6.

Saints hit back instantly, as a knock on from Konrad Hurell put Saints in prime position. A flowing move out to the left resulted in Coote taking Lomax’s past then skipping past two Leeds defenders to score.

The half ended with a Makinson special as Lomax found the flying winger with a cut out pass and the winger finished in spectacular fashion in the corner. Coote added the two off the touchline sending the teams in at the break at 24-6.

Leeds started the second half the better of the two teams and turned the pressure into points as Hurrell found Briscoe with the offload and the winger pushed off the recovering Saints defenders to score. Sutcliffe unable to add the extras.

In the following 20 minutes both defenses stood firm as the big hits increased the intensity on the field and the atmosphere inside the Totally Wicked Stadium.

It took until five minutes from the end for Saints to get their first points of the second half and it was LMS who took a short ball from Fages and carried four Leeds defenders over the line with him before touching down for his second and Saints fifth try of the game.

Bentley put the icing on the cake as he picks the ball up from dummy half and scoots over from close range. Coote added the two and in the process maintained his 100% goal kicking on the night giving Saints a 36-10 victory.

Match Summary

Saints

Starting 13: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Smith, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, LMS.

Interchanges: Amor, Lees, Bentley, Ashworth.

Tries: Naiqama (1), LMS (5,75), Coote (20), Makinson (39), Bentley (79).

Goals: Coote (6 from 6)

Leeds Rhinos

Starting 13: Walker, Briscoe, Newman, Hurrell, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Myler, Seumanufagai, Dwyer, Singleton, Ferres, Watkins, Merrin.

Interchanges: Parcell,Donaldson, Oledzki,Cuthbertson

Tries: Dwyer (16), Briscoe (46).

Goals: Suitcliffe (1 from 2)

HT: 24-6
FT: 36-10

REF: B. Thaler

ATT: 11,848

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