Flying Saints registered their 17th victory of the season with a relatively routine 36-10 win over second-bottom side Leeds.
It was first versus 11th and the difference in quality between both sides was obvious from the first whistle, Kevin Naiqama dotting down in the opening minutes with Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook soon following suit. Lachlan Coote’s two conversions gave St Helens a 12-0 lead.
Leeds did manage to stem the tide through Brad Dwyer and a Liam Sutcliffe goal, but tries from Coote and a Tommy Makinson special opened up a 24-6 half-time lead from which there appeared to be no way back for the Rhinos.
Saints seemed to stutter in the second forty minutes with Luke Briscoe’s early second-half try giving the Rhinos hope at 24-10.
But Leeds found the 14-point deficit too much to claw back with two late converted tries from McCarthy-Scarsbrook and James Bentley inflating the scoreline to maintain Saints’ six-pont lead at the top and brush aside last week’s defeat to London.
St Helens: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, Aaron Smith, Luke Thompson, Zeb Taia, Dominique Peyroux, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook; Subs: Kyle Amor, Matty Lees, Jack Ashworth, James Bentley
Tries: Naiqama, McCarthy-Scarsbrook 2, Coote, Makinson, Bentley Goals: Coote 6
Leeds: Jack Walker, Tom Briscoe, Harry Newman, Konrad Hurrell, Luke Briscoe, Liam Sutcliffe, Richie Myler, Ava Seumanufagai, Brad Dwyer, Brad Singleton, Kallum Watkins, Brett Ferres, Trent Merrin; Subs: James Donaldson, Mikolaj Oledzki, Adam Cuthbertson, Matt Parcell
Tries: Dwyer, L Briscoe Goals: Sutcliffe
A full report and photos from tonight’s game will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express, which will be available in newsagents and online from 9.30pm on Sunday evening.