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Simm scores first half hat-trick as Saints beat young Rhinos

Josh Simm grabbed the headlines as his first half hat-trick sent Saints on our way to a seven try victory over a young Leeds Rhinos side at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Saints got off to a flying start; Zeb Taia offloading to youngster Simm, who raced down the left hand side before cutting inside to score his first senior try. Lachlan Coote converted, giving Saints an early 6-0 lead.

Saints doubled our lead in the 15th minute; captain James Roby raced forward after a trademark dummy, before flying through the middle and superbly offloading to teammate Taia who touched down unchallenged. Coote added the extras, leaving it 12-0.

Simm got his second in the 21st minute, a great short pass by playmaker Jonny Lomax saw the centre power past the two defenders to touch down. Coote was unable to convert, keeping it at 16-0.

Simm then personally crowned a remarkable first half as he bagged his hat-trick in the 37th minute after Regan Grace broke forward to open up the Rhinos defence. He was brought down by Jack Walker, but Lomax found Simm with a brilliant cut-out pass and the young centre went over for his third. Coote added the extras, giving Saints a 22-0 lead at half time.

Cameron Smith got one back for the Rhinos 51 minutes in; after some persistent pressure by the visitors, powering over despite a great last man defensive effort from Coote. Smith missed his own conversion, leaving the score 22-4.

Saints fought off more pressure from the Rhinos, to go up the other end and a great break and offload from Matty Lees found Theo Fages to score underneath the sticks. Coote added two more points, giving Saints a 28-4 lead after 64 minutes.

We were in again in the 65th minute. Kevin Naiqama starting the move with a tap across to Makinson, who flew down the wing before passing back on his inside to the centre, who scored to the right of the sticks. Coote added the extras, giving Saints a 34-4 lead.

Liam Tindall responded with a try for Leeds in the 71st minute on the back of a penalty, as the youngster went over in the right hand corner. Smith was unable to convert, leaving the score at 34-8.

Aaron Smith, on for Roby, hit back three minutes later after a great dart from dummy half saw the hooker play a ball to Fages, who returned the ball back to Smith to go over. Coote kicked the conversion to secure a 40-8 victory as Saints marched on with Salford up next on Monday!

Match Summary

Saints 13: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Josh Simm, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Matty Lees, Zeb Taia, James Bentley, Morgan Knowles.

Interchanges: Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Kyle Amor, Joe Batchelor, Aaron Smith.

Tries: Simm (3,21, 37), Taia (15), Fages (62), Naiqama (65), Smith (74)

Goals: Coote (6)

Leeds 13: Jack Walker, Luke Briscoe, Alex Sutcliffe, Rhys Evans, Liam Tindall, Callum McLelland, Jack Broadbent, Mikolaj Oledzki, Brad Dwyer, Tom Holroyd, Sam Walters, Bodene Thompson, Cameron Smith.

Interchanges: Corey Hall, James Donaldson, Jarrod O’Connor, James Harrison.

Tries: Smith (51), Tindall (71)

Half time: 22-0

Full Time: 40-8

Referee: Liam Moore

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