Leeds Rhinos 30-18 St Helens

Leeds' Ash Handley upends St Helens' Matty Dawson

Leeds’ Ash Handley upends St Helens’ Matty Dawson

Leeds Rhinos picked up their second victory of the season by beating St Helens in Super League.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Adam Cuthbertson and Liam Sutcliffe put the hosts 16-0 up after only 12 minutes.

Scores from Kyle Amor, Luke Walsh and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook then put the visitors ahead, before Carl Ablett’s try gave Leeds a 22-18 half-time lead.

Ash Handley’s try edged Rhinos further ahead as St Helens lost for only the second time this campaign.

Reigning champions Rhinos took an early lead when Jones-Buchanan, on his 300th Super League appearance, went over after Handley intercepted a St Helens kick.

After Cuthbertson stormed over from close range, Sutcliffe ran 30 metres for the home side’s third try when Amor miscued a bobbling ball.

St Helens finally got on the board when a short pass from Walsh found Amor to score between the posts.

Saints went over again as Walsh danced through to touch down, while McCarthy-Scarsbrook opened Leeds up down the middle as the visitors edged in front.

But just as St Helens seemed set for a half-time lead, Ablett went over with the last play of the half for Rhinos as he burst through two tackles.

A cagey second half saw Handley time his run to perfection to meet Beau Falloon’s kick for Rhinos’ fifth try and St Helens were unable to mount another comeback.

Leeds head coach Brian McDermott:

“It was a crazy game. It was end-to-end stuff – a bit too fast.

“Some passages both coaches would be unhappy with but then there were some passages both coaches would be pleased with, I certainly was anyway.

“There were some defensive efforts and try-savers which were probably created from initial loose defence, but then we end up saving the try which kept us in the game.”

St Helens head coach Keiron Cunningham:

“We don’t seem to get off the bus for the first 10 to 15 minutes when we come to Leeds.

“We seem to want to give one of the best sides in the comp a leg up. Sixteen points is tough to chase down anywhere, especially at Headingley.

“The game was really scrappy and really open in that first half. It was whichever side took a grip of the game and kicked the ball best that was going to win it, and we just decided we didn’t want to do that.”

Leeds: Hardaker; Handley, Watkins, Moon, Hall; Sutcliffe, Burrow; Galloway, Falloon, Cuthbertson, Ablett, Ferres, Jones-Buchanan.

Replacements: Lilley, Mullally, Walters, Delaney.

St Helens: McDonnell; Makinson, Peyroux, Dawson, Owens; Turner, Walsh; Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Vea, Greenwood, Wilkin.

Replacements: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Tasi, Richards, Thompson.

Referee: Ben Thaler

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