SENIOR ACADEMY MAINTAIN WINNING START

The Rhinos Senior Academy side maintained their unbeaten start to the season despited a spirited fightback from an experienced St Helens side in the second half.

The Rhinos Senior Academy side maintained their unbeaten start to the season despited a spirited fightback from an experienced St Helens side in the second half. Scott Murrell made his return to the Leeds colours and was instrumental in establishing the Rhinos 28-8 lead at half time, not least with his four conversions, two of which were from the touchline. The Rhinos had to make a change as early as the first minute when Liam Botham limped out of the game after picking up a dead leg in the first tackle. However, the Rhinos were soon into their stride as Peter Fox set Matt Gardner for the opening try with a brilliant catch and pass from a cross field bomb at close quarters. The Rhinos extended their lead when a cut out pass from Murrell beat two defenders to find Nick Scruton who skillfully put Calderwood through to score. Saints then hit back when centre Cook scored the first of his three tries on the night. Leeds though were in irrestible form and Calderwood grabbed his second with a length of the field effort, snatching up a loose grubber kick on his own line to race clear. Golden was next to benefit from the skill of Murrell as he supported the stand offs break to score and with Bostock sin binned for the visitors Tommy Gallagher crashed over to give the Rhinos a 28-4 lead. Saints scored just before half time through Oldham but Gallagher was on hand to re-establish the lead four minutes into the second half. Whereas the Irish internationals first try was all about power, his second was about pace, as the loose forward outran the Saints defenders from 80 metres out to score. Ablett adding his only conversion. The withdrawal of Murrell at that stage seemed to cost Leeds their directions and St Helens gave themselves a chance with Cook completing his hat trick and Kenny also scoring, Forber kicking three goals. However, just as Saints got within a couple of scores, the Rhinos moved up a gear again and the ever impressive Nick Scruton rampaged his way over the line after taking a short pass five metres out to secure the victory and cement top place in the table.