St Helens defeat Leeds Rhinos to win fourth consecutive Super League title

St Helens secured the Super League title for a fourth season in a row with a 24-12 victory over Leeds Rhinos in the Grand Final at Old Trafford.

The League Leaders’ Shield winners were dominant throughout to deservedly win, not only becoming the first side to win four Super League crowns in succession but also claiming the outright record for Grand Final wins with nine.

It proved a perfect send-off for departing head coach Kristian Woolf, a champion in each of his three years in charge at Saints.

They could not have imagined a better start, scoring the fastest try in Grand Final history with Matty Lees’ third-minute effort from a break by Jonny Lomax, who won the Harry Sunderland Award.

The holders and favourites were playing quicker and more fluently, and Jon Bennison extended their advantage when he touched down a Jack Welsby grubber kick.

Leeds were getting chances on the opposition line but kept fluffing their lines, leaving Saints 12-0 up with Tommy Makinson converting both tries but missing a penalty.

Despite being on the back foot all half, the Rhinos secured a lifeline right on half-time. Zak Hardaker made an excellent break, then the ball was kept alive in the corner and Kruise Leeming dived over, with Rhyse Martin converting for 12-6 at the break.

But Saints remained dominant from the restart, and were twelve points ahead again within six minutes as Konrad Hurrell did brilliantly to defy numerous defenders and twist over.

The contest was over shortly after the hour mark when Welsby’s boot again unlocked the Leeds defence, allowing Mark Percival to score.

Makinson converted both tries while Will Hopoate produced a superb try-saving tackle on Martin to keep the Rhinos at arms’ length.

Martin finally crossed with nine minutes remaining from a combination with Tom Briscoe, but it came too late to prevent Saints extending their dominance over Super League.

The full report, stats, reaction and analysis will be available in Monday’s League Express.