Sports

St Helens reach Super League Grand Final after 36-8 victory over Leeds Rhinos

Tries from Regan Grace (2), James Robles, Mark Percival (2) and Kevin Naiqama ensured St Helens marched through into the Grand Final in style where they will meet Catalan Dragons

St Helens’ James Roby celebrates with teammates after scoring a try

Alex Walmsley and James Roby led from the front to put St Helens within 80 minutes of a Super League three-peat.

Prop Walmsley and hooker Roby helped Saints set a blistering pace that Leeds struggled to contain, booking an Old Trafford showdown with Catalans next Saturday.

It gives Kristian Woolf’s side the chance to win a third straight Grand Final and complete a 2021 double after lifting the Challenge Cup in July.

On this evidence they will take some stopping.

Right from the start they played the game at a pace too quick for the visitors, led by the imperious Walmsley up front.



Alex Walmsley of St Helens is tackled by Zane Tetevano and Matt Prior of Leeds Rhinos
(

Image:

Getty Images)




Veteran skipper Roby launched Saints’ dangerous backline – which had doubles from Mark Percival and Regan Grace – from that platform and touched down himself in another immersed display.

To Leeds’ credit they hung into the contest for long periods despite being on the back foot, without ever looking like winning.

Richard Agar’s side made several errors at pivotal moments, and lacked the rampaging power of Walmsley in the middle.

In a game that ended with four yellow cards in total, Grace was the first to touch down, taking a smart cut-out pass from Lachlan Coote to cross out wide.









The Rhinos were first to be reduced to 12 men when Tom Briscoe was sin binned for a high tackle, and immediately afterwards Walmsley offloaded for the evergreen Roby to twist over from close range.

At that point it looked as though the champions could run away with matters, but Leeds somehow stayed in the game and found a response before half-time.

It came after Saints had their own yellow card, Sione Mata’utita sent for 10 minutes for a high shot on a falling Luke Briscoe.

In his absence, the Rhinos attack eventually clicked sufficiently for Richie Myler to force his way to the line in the corner.



St Helens’ Regan Grace scores a try
(

Image:

PA)




But the visitors’ task was made more difficult again with a second sin bin after the restart – this time James Donaldson the latest victim of the move to clamp down on any contact to the head for his tackle on Coote.

Saints capitalised when centre Percival touched down, and sealed the win shortly after Donaldson’s return as Coote’s pass sent Kevin Naiqama over.

Who will win the Grand Final – St Helens or Catalan Dragons? Have your say below.



Mark Percival takes the ball over the line for a try as St Helens march on
(

Image:

PA)




The Rhinos refused to buckle, scoring for a second time through winger Luke Briscoe with Morgan Knowles now binned for a late hit.

But Saints finished with a flourish, Grace and young scrum-half Lewis Dodd combining for Percival’s second, before Grace completed his own double.

Now they face Catalans with memories of the French side’s stunning Magic Weekend comeback against them still fresh – it promises to be a fascinating title decider.




Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button