24 May 2024

St Helens 40 Leeds Rhinos 10

Leeds Rhinos endured a tough night at the Totally Wicked Stadium as they fell to a 40-10 defeat against St Helens in round 12 of the Betfred Super League.

The visitors got the scoring underway with a try from Ash Handley and should have gone into the break level on the scoreboard but a late Saints try gave the home side a slender lead after 40 minutes. Luis Roberts got the only score of the second half, which saw the home side take away the victory.

Team News

Coming into the fixture off the back of a week off, the Rhinos were able to bring Harry Newman and Brodie Croft back into the team in a welcomed boost for Rohan Smith. Newman slotted into his usual centre position alongside Matty Russell, who made his first outing since joining from Warrington on loan, whilst Croft reconnected with Matt Frawley in the halves.

Mickael Goudemand moved onto the bench as Rhyse Martin and Luis Roberts rotated around the starting 13, and Tom Nicholson-Watton was also named among the substitutes in his second appearance of the season.

1st Half

Early chances saw both sides go close to opening the scoring within a matter of minutes. Having restricted Saints in yardage with good defence, the Rhinos tried to get their attack firing with the returning Croft, who chose to run the ball on the last tackle and exchanged passes with James McDonnell but his choice to kick ahead for Harry Newman was just out of the centre's reach.

Paul Wellens’ side used the ensuing seven-tackle set to get close to the try line themselves, but desperate defence from Leeds managed to wrap up Lewis Dodd as he charged onto an offload from Joe Batchelor.

It was the Rhinos that made the breakthrough inside ten minutes as Ash Handley got his 16th try against the Saints. Off the back of diffusing a Saints attack close to their own try line, Croft rekindled his connection with Ash Handley as the Leeds half back produced a brilliant crossfield kick, harking back to a similar one at Hull KR earlier in the season, to put Handley away. Although Tommy Makinson tracked back to stop the Rhinos man, Smith’s side kept their composure to switch play from right to left, where Handley was waiting to finish the move he helped start. Rhyse Martin added the conversion after the video referee confirmed the try.

Chances continued to swing between both sides as Saints missed a major opportunity to get their first points of the match. Off the back of a strong charge back at the posts by substitute George Delaney, who came on for the injured Batchelor,  Saints fed Curtis Sironen on a short pass, but as the decision of no try was handed to video referee Tom Grant to check the grounding, he was unable to confirm that Sironen had maintained possession whilst grounding the ball.

Despite holding their own for the first 20 minutes, Leeds proved to be their own enemy as Matt Frawley was unable to find Ash Handley after the half back managed to pinch Welsby’s kick on the last. Picking off Frawley’s loose pass, Saints used the possession to their advantage as Sione Mata’utia crossed the try line to level the score at 6-6.

Unfortunate events for Matty Russell saw the winger’s Leeds debut end prematurely as he was taken from the field for a HIA after heavy contact with Mark Percival. A forced reshuffle saw Roberts move onto the wing, Martin shift back into the centres and Sam Lisone come on to bolster the forward pack as the Rhinos looked to hold the Saints out until the break.

With the half winding down though, Saints managed to go the length of the field and after Roberts was unable to take Dodd’s high kick on the last, Matty Lees hit a hole and Leeds defence and flung a wild offload away for Moses Mbye to catch and score to give the home side a 12-6 lead at the break.

2nd Half

Tensions at the start of the season half saw the Rhinos concede early doors as Sironen got his arms free to throw a pass away for Clark to score within four minutes of the restart.

Welsby added his name to the list of scorers as well as he rose above Miller to take Dodd’s high kick and touch down to get back-to-back tries for the home side. Percival converted both tries to take the lead to 24-6.

With plenty of time in the game, mistakes from Saints’ Mata’utia led to Leeds benefitting on the scoreboard. A loose carry from the forward gifted possession back to the away side, and after Smith had been brought up short of the line, good link up play involving Croft led to Roberts sailed over in the corner to close the home side’s advantage to 14 points.

The lead was restored by the home side though as they added three more tries. A break from Waqa Blake was supported by Percival and although Miller was able to stop the initial chance with a tackle on the Saints centre, Sironen crashed over to get his try that had been denied in the first half.

Tommy Makinson then finished a cross-field move in the corner for Saints’ sixth try, before Welsby added his second of the night off the back of a Percival break to take the final score to 40-10.

Next up

The Rhinos head back to AMT Headingley next Saturday for their round 13 clash with Castleford Tigers, which will also be a double header with the Rhinos Women’s clash with Barrow Raiders Ladies.

To buy tickets go to tickets.therhinos.co.uk or call the ticket office on 0371 423 1315. Opening hours: Monday-Friday 10am-4pm (excluding Bank Holidays). Tickets also available to purchase from Leeds Rhinos Club Shop at AMT Headingley Stadium.

Match Facts


1. Jack Welsby, 2. Tommy Makinson, 23. Konrad Hurrell, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Waqa Blake, 6. Jonny Lomax, 7. Lewis Dodd, 11. Peter Mata’utia, 9. Daryl Clark, 10. Matty Lees, 16. Curtis Sironen, 12. Joe Batchelor, 15. James Bell

Subs: 14. Moses Mbye, 20. George Delaney, 21. Ben Davies, 31. Noah Stephens (18th Man – 5. Jonathan Bennison)

Tries: Mata’utia (20), Mbye (38), Clark (44), Welsby (47, 70), Sironen (63), Makinson (68)

Goals: Percival 6/7



1. Lachlan Miller, 35. Matty Russell, 3. Harry Newman, 24. Luis Roberts, 5. Ash Handley, 6. Brodie Croft, 7. Matt Frawley, 8. Mikolaj Oledzki, 14. Jarrod O'Connor, 17. Justin Sangare, 16. James McDonnell, 12. Rhyse Martin, 13. Cameron Smith

Subs: 15. Sam Lisone, 30. Tom Nicholson-Watton, 9. Andy Ackers, 18. Mickael Goudemand (18th Man – 23. Leon Ruan)

Tries: Handley (8), Roberts (57)

Goals: Martin 1/2

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