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Super League: St Helens crush Leeds Rhinos 40-10 to move back to the top of the

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St Helens scored seven tries and returned to the top of Super League with a crushing 40-10 comeback victory over Leeds Rhinos in Friday’s men’s and women’s doubleheader.

The Rhinos failed to score in their last meeting against Catalans but Ash Handley’s early try ruled out any chance of that happening for a second time running.

But Saints dominated the rest of the half and after Curtis Sironen saw his try ruled out by the video referee in controversial fashion, Sione Mata’utia and Moses Mbye ran over to give the hosts a deserved 12-6 lead at the break.

St Helens were ruthless in the second period and breached Leeds’ defence five more times courtesy of Daryl Clark, Jack Welsby twice, Sironen and the departing Tommy Makinson’s 200th St Helens try.

Picture By Olly Hassell/Swpix.com - 24/05/2024 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Round 12 - St Helens V Leeds Rhinos - The Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens, England - St Helens Celebrate Jack Welsby...s Try
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St Helens put Leeds Rhinos to the sword on Friday

Leeds took the lead in the ninth minute in spectacular style. Brodie Croft’s early kick unleashed Handley down the field and – after a couple of tackles – he touched down in the corner as Rhyse Martin kicked the extras from the sideline.

The hosts thought they were on level terms five minutes later after Sironen barged his way to the tryline, he reached out and looked like he made the whitewash but the video referee judged the back rower to have come up short in his attempt.

Saints finally had their first try of the contest after Matt Frawley’s initial intercept looked to set Leeds on their way but he chucked the ball straight to Welsby which his side capitalised from.

Konrad Hurrell poked a gap through the Leeds defence and offloaded to Mata’utia who bundled over to level matters.

Sione Mata'Utia Scores A Try Against Leeds Rhinos
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Sione Mata’utia scored a try to level matters during the first half

The visitors shot themselves in the foot when Luis Roberts dropped a high bomb which gave their opponents a fresh set of six which they took advantage of.

From the fresh set, James Bell’s smart offload set Matty Lees on his way and he gifted Mbye a free route to touch down and give Saints a six-point lead heading into the break.

St Helens doubled that lead at the start of the second half as – on the last tackle – Sironen drove to the line and handed the ball to Clark, who was free to dive over.

Saints were beginning to run riot over Leeds, who made a sluggish start to the second half. This time, Welsby showed great speed to beat Lachie Miller to the punch from Lewis Dodd’s high ball and touched down.

Picture By Olly Hassell/Swpix.com - 24/05/2024 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League Round 12 - St Helens V Leeds Rhinos - The Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens, England - Jack Welsby Of St Helens Celebrates His Try
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Jack Welsby scored twice for St Helens as they ripped Leeds apart in the second half

The away side did not have much to shout about but grabbed a second of the night with 20 minutes to go as Roberts dived over in the corner to cut the deficit to 14.

Saints had a fifth when Bell broke the line and – after Percival fluffed the initial attempt – Sironen made no mistake in giving his side a 20-point lead, which prompted shouts of “we want Rohan [Smith] out” from the disgruntled away end.

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Leads Rhinos head coach Rohan Smith said his side lost their connection in a poor second half against St Helens

Makinson had already announced his decision to leave the Saints for Catalans at the end of the season but he also got in on the act with a dive into the corner and Saints did not let their foot off the gas as Mark Percival broke the line and handed Welsby his second of the night to round off a superlative performance.

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St Helens head coach Paul Wellens says his side have shown great character to perform so well with so many injuries

Women’s Super League: Wasteful Leeds fall to defeat at Saints

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Highlights of the Women’s Super League match between St Helens and Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos Women’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end after a 12-6 defeat to St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium in the earlier game of Friday’s double-header.

The Rhinos started the game with heaps of possession, being a constant threat on the Saints line, with Sophie Robinson all but certain to score after cutting in from the left but a great tackle from Phoebe Hook denied her.

Leeds kept getting close to the Saints line but could not convert any chances into points. Hanna Butcher went close but lost the ball and Caitlin Casey was held up.

The first points of the game didn’t come until halfway through the first 40, when Faye Gaskin added a penalty goal after Zoe Hornby gave away a high tackle. Gaskin then followed it up with the first try of the match five minutes later as she spotted a gap in the line and darted through to score. Her successful conversion gave Saints an eight-point lead.

The final points of the half again came from Gaskin who added another penalty goal, this time after Leeds were penalised for offside. The successful kick meant Leeds went into the half trailing 10-0.

Into the second half, Keara Bennett reached over from close range as Leeds finally scored, reducing the deficit to four when Bennett converted via both posts.

A third penalty kicked by Gaskin stretched the Saints lead to six points, and despite Leeds continuing to have the majority of the play, they couldn’t score again.

Super League: Hull FC lose ninth game in a row; Leigh beat Huddersfield

Hull FC served up a sobering reminder of the size of the task facing incoming head coach John Cartwright as they crashed to their ninth Super League defeat in a row against revitalised Castleford at The Jungle.

Cartwright is not due to take charge until the start of next season and he would be forgiven for having second thoughts after another abject display that followed their embarrassing reversal to rock-bottom London Broncos two weeks ago.

Late tries from Tiaki Chan and Jake Trueman heaped gloss onto a 30-22 final scoreline that scarcely did justice to the gulf between the sides, as the revitalised hosts ran in five tries including one for Rowan Milnes who also kicked a perfect set of conversions.

Rebounding in style from their surrender to St Helens last time out, the Tigers had only themselves to blame for not putting the game to bed before the break as two blunders handed their opponents a flicker of hope at 18-10.

But two tries in 15 second-half minutes from Jason Qareqare and Corey Hall effectively sealed a much-needed win, despite the spirited rally from the visitors that proved much too little, too late.

Elsewhere, Leigh claimed just their fourth Super League win of the season as Huddersfield followed their Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Warrington with a disappointing 16-10 loss.

The Giants were thumped 46-10 by Warrington to see their Wembley dream ended at St Helens last Sunday but they failed to bounce back against the Leopards.

Adrian Lam’s visitors took the spoils with first-half tries from winger Josh Charnley and hooker Edwin Ipape in an ill-disciplined encounter which saw Huddersfield half-back Oliver Russell and Leigh trio Ed Chamberlain, Frankie Halton and Brad Dwyer all sin-binned.

Ian Watson’s hosts scored second-half tries through second-rower Sam Hewitt and centre Kevin Naiqama but Leigh held on for the win.

Watch every match of the 2024 Betfred Super League season, including Magic Weekend, the play-offs, and men’s, women’s, and wheelchair Grand Finals, live on Sky Sports. Also stream with NOW.