“Tommy Makinson is the best finisher ever!”

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook was impressed but not surprised by Tommy Makinson’s acrobatic try scoring effort against Leeds.

The Saints eased past the Rhinos 36-10 at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday evening to remain six points above second-placed Warrington at the top of the Super League.

Golden Boot winner Makinson scored a brilliant try in the second half to help his side claim the two points.

Speaking after the game, Holbrook said: “For Tommy Mak to finish that try was great. He is the best ever at finishing!

“He is so good to watch. We do practice finishing tries more in pre-season but he is getting enough practice in games! He does it so well and he is a phenomenal athlete and a great finisher.

“We didn’t play at our best. I’m not taking anything away from Leeds but we didn’t play as well as we have done. I guess the good sign is that we came away with the win and that’s the main thing.”

Holbrook made a couple of changes to his squad ahead of the game, with Morgan Knowles and Joseph Paulo being rested.

The Australian coach added: “I just wanted to give them the chance to freshen up a bit.

“Morgan Knowles has been our hardest working player all year and they both have a few little niggles so I thought it would be best to freshen them up a little bit.

“We had the international week last year and everyone had the chance to have a week off but we didn’t have that this year, so we have got to find other ways of making it work.

“Last year we could work towards the international week but this year we haven’t got that luxury, so we are relying on the squad a lot more and it’s working well.”

The Super League table is very tight at the bottom, with Hull KR and Leeds level on 12 points. London and Huddersfield are just above them on 14 points – and Holbrook thinks relegation and promotion is a good thing for the game.

He commented: “I think it is good to have relegation. It makes it exciting.

“I think what you will find over the next 10 rounds is that those bottom sides will be just as hard to beat as any near the top for that reason. We witnessed a cracking game on Thursday night [London-Hull KR] and I think we will see more of that in the final 10 rounds due to what is at stake.”

Holbrook revealed back-rower Zeb Taia had dislocated his shoulder, while centre Mark Percival left the field with a tight hamstring. Both will be assessed further in the coming days.

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