Saints reach third consecutive Grand Final with win over Leeds!

St Helens will be heading to our third straight Grand Final after a 30-8 win over the Leeds Rhinos on Friday evening!

Saints opened the scoring in the fifth minute. A flowing move from right to left saw Lachlan Coote throw a cut-out pass wide to Regan Grace, he then sprinted forward and, despite Leeds’ best attempts to hold him up, he grounded the ball in the left corner.

Coote could not add the extras, but Saints added two more points shortly after. Leeds were awarded a penalty and Coote, playing his final game at the Totally Wicked Stadium, leaped to stop the ball going out of play and from the resulting set we earned a penalty and Coote converted to make it 6-0.

Tom Briscoe was then sent to the sin bin midway through the first half for a high shot on Coote. He picked himself up to take the kick and added two more points, 8-0.

Saints made their extra man count shortly after. The impressive Alex Walmsley made a big run downfield, he offloaded to captain James Roby who span over to score to the left of the sticks. Coote added the two, 14-0.

Saints were then reduced to 12 men, as Sione Mata’utia saw yellow for a high shot on a falling Leeds player. It looked harsh, but it was 10 minutes in the bin.

Leeds responded two minutes before the break. Richie Myler forcing his way over from close range. The try was confirmed after a video referee review. Rhyse Martin could not add the extras, 14-4 at the break.

Five minutes into the second half James Donaldson was next to be sent to the sin bin for a high shot on Coote. We once again made the most of a man advantage. We ran a play down the short side on the left, Mata’utia finding Mark Percival who stretched out to score from close range. Coote missed the conversion, 18-4.

Kevin Naiqama then added a try on his final appearance at the Totally Wicked Stadium on the hour mark as Coote put him through a big gap close to the line. Coote added the extras to make it 24-4.

Morgan Knowles was then sent to the sin bin in the 67th minute for a late shot. From the resulting penalty Leeds scored as they had an extra man down their right-hand side, Luke Briscoe touching down in the corner which was confirmed after a video referee review. Martin missed the conversion, 24-8.

Eight minutes from time Saints had their fifth try of the evening. A Lewis Dodd kick was deflected, Grace picked the ball up first and threw it back to Dodd, he made a break through the line before finding Percival on his inside who strolled over for his second try of the evening. Coote added the extras to make it 30-6.

There was still enough time for a sixth Saints try. Grace found himself wide open on the left wing after collecting a Jonny Lomax cut-out pass, he then stepped Myler to score in front of a bouncing West Stand. Coote added the two to make it 36-8.

That was to be the final score of the game, as Saints move on to a third straight Grand Final after a 36-8 win over the Leeds Rhinos, where we will face the Catalans Dragons.

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

Interchanges: Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Kyle Amor, Agnatius Paasi, Jack Welsby.

Tries: Regan Grace (5, 78), James Roby (23), Mark Percival (51. 72), Kevin Naiqama (60)

Conversions: Lachlan Coote (4 from 6)

Penalties: Lachlan Coote (2 from 2)

Sin Bin: Sione Mata’utia (30), Morgan Knowles (67)

Leeds Rhinos Team: Richie Myler, Luke Briscoe, Harry Newman, Tom Briscoe, Ash Handley, Robert Lui, Kruise Leeming, Mikolaj Oledzki, Brad Dwyer, Matt Prior, James Donaldson, Rhyse Martin, Zane Tetevano.

Interchanges: Konrad Hurrell, Bodene Thompson, Tom Holroyd, Cameron Smith.

Tries: Richie Myler (38), Luke Briscoe (67)

Conversions: Rhyse Martin (0 from 2)

Sin Bin: Tom Briscoe (21), James Donaldson (45)

HT: 14-4

FT: 36-8

ATT: 11,688

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