Saints secure second with victory over Leeds!

Saints have secured second place and a week off in the Betfred Super League playoffs after beating Leeds 40-6 at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday evening with Alex Walmsley the stand-out Man of the Match.

It was a quick start for the Saints. Three minutes in we forced a drop out and from our repeat set we grabbed the first try of the game as Regan Grace weaved his way inside off the left wing to score. After a video referee review the try was confirmed. Lachlan Coote added the extras from the left touchline, 6-0 we led.

The man in-form then extended our lead. Lewis Dodd was tackled but managed to sneak an offload to James Roby, he then found Jack Welsby who escaped another tackle before sprinting to score to the right of the sticks. Coote missed the conversion, we led 10-0.

A third Saints try followed three minutes later. We opted to go down the short side and Morgan Knowles powered his way over from close range to score his second in as many weeks after a Walmsley break. Coote added the extras to make it 16-0.

A fourth try followed two minutes later. A massive break down the middle from Man of the Match Walmsley saw him find Tommy Makinson on his outside and he sprinted almost half the length of the pitch to score under the sticks. Coote added the extras, 22-0.

Another try followed for the Saints just before the break. We kept the ball alive on the Leeds line and Walmlsey forced his way over from close range which topped off a great 33 minute stint for our number eight. Coote added the extras, 28-0.

Leeds then grabbed their first try of the evening as Brad Dwyer scored from dummy half on the Saints line. Rhyse Martin converted the try to make it 28-6. That is how it remained at the break as Saints looked on course to cement second spot ahead of the playoffs.

Saints’ dominance continued five minutes into the second half. Dodd with a grubber kick through the Leeds defence and Sione Mata’utia won the race to score his third try in his last two games. Coote added the extras, 34-6.

Unfortunately for the Saints though, shortly after his try, Mata’utia was forced off with an ankle injury.

After a long spell afterward with no score for either side, Knowles grabbed his second try of the game in the 74th minute. Saints once again opted to go down the short side on the right and Welsby found Knowles who went over from close range. Coote added the two, 40-6 to the Saints.

That was to be the final points of the game as Saints responded to last week’s defeat against Catalans Dragons to seal second place in the Betfred Super League table and with it a home semi-final in the playoffs!

Saints Team: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jack Welsby, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Matty Lees, Sione Mata’utia, Joe Batchelor, Morgan Knowles.

Interchanges: Joel Thompson, Kyle Amor, Aaron Smith, Jake Wingfield.

Tries: Regan Grace (3), Jack Welsby (17), Morgan Knowles (20, 74), Tommy Makinson (23), Alex Walmsley (33), Sione Mata’utia (45)

Conversions: Lachlan Coote (6 from 7)

Leeds Rhinos Team: Jack Broadbent, Ash Handley, Tom Briscoe, Harry Newman, Luke Briscoe, Kruise Leeming, Richie Myler, Tom Holroyd, Brad Dwyer, Matt Prior, Rhyse Martin, Sam Walters, Jarrod O’Connor.

Interchanges: Cameron Smith, Alex Sutcliffe, Bodene Thompson, Corey Johnson.

Tries: Brad Dwyer (36)

Conversions: Rhyse Martin (1 from 1)

HT: 28-6

FT: 40-6

Attendance: 12,568

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