Saints Rip Rhinos To Shreds

Saints – who a fortnight ago lifted the Powergen Challenge Cup – secured the League Leaders’ Shield with this win and now look odds on to complete the set with a Grand Final win at Old Trafford next month.

Jamie Lyon provided the inspiration for the home side by claiming a hat-trick in the opening twenty six minutes; with Francis Meli, Sean Long and Ade Gardner also touching down for a 30-0 half time advantage.

Paul Wellens grabbed a brace in the second forty with Meli and Gardner each scoring a second time to complete the rout.

Lyon – who will return down under at the end of the season – also added six goals to the total, but could not compete with Paul Anderson’s jaw-dropping effort from the touchline.

Scott Donald scored twice for the Rhinos with Clinton Toopi adding a third and Kevin Sinfield three goals; but this could take none of the gloss from a near-faultless Saints performance.

St Helens coach Daniel Anderson said that his side will knuckle down for the remaining weeks of the season to make sure that they lift the Super League trophy.

"When they get in that mood, they are irresistible. We played very well but I don't know how much was riding on the game” said Anderson.

"We have got two legs of a treble and we will celebrate the reward for our hard work but we will knuckle down for the rest of the season.

"It was a very skilful performance from a very hungry and motivated group of players."

Shell-shocked Leeds coach Tony Smith blamed the heavy loss on his side’s slow start to the game, allowing the Saints to take control early on.

Smith said: "We gifted them a start and you can't do that. They were white-hot for long periods and momentum is a difficult thing to stop when you've got a team as formidable as Saints.

"I thought we started to build a game in the second half but we needed to do that from the start. We are hurting a bit, obviously, but you have days like that.

"Sometimes everything you touch turns to gold, tonight everything turned to coal." 

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