Leeds Rhinos have move six points ahead of the field in the First Utility Super League tonight, hammering St Helens 16-41 at Langtree Park, with Ash Handley, again deputising on the wing for Ryan Hall, scoring three first-half tries and Liam Sutcliffe having an outstanding game as he guided the league leaders to a victory whose margin could hardly have been predicted.
The Rhinos shot into a0-24 lead after 28 minutes with two tries by Handley – the first coming from an interception of a Josh Jones pass – and tries from Zak Hardaker and Danny McGuire, with Sutcliffe converting the first three and captain Kevin Sinfield coming off the bench to convert the fourth.
Saints looked as though they were getting back in the game when Tommy Makinson scored on 37 minutes, but right on the interval Handley completed his hat-trick when he caught a superb cross-field bomb by Sutcliffe, although this time Sinfield couldn’t convert.
The second half saw Luke Walsh come off the bench for St Helens, and he quickly made a superb break and created a try for Jordan Turner, with Burns converting. And he created a second try on 60 minutes with a bomb that Turner collected for his second try. Burns’ goal reduced St Helens’ deficit to 12 points.
But that was as good as it got for St Helens, and the Rhinos pulled further ahead with a brilliant try by Sutcliffe, converted by Sinfield, and a field-goal from the Leeds captain, before Joel Moon completed the scoring just before the hooter, with Sinfield adding a final goal.
A full and more detailed report with photographs will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.