St Helens strolled to victory against Leeds who are now level on points with Hull KR at the bottom of the table.
St Helens got off to a quick start in their two previous game against London and Huddersfield respectively and they scored two early tries once again. Saints decided to test young full back Jack Walker early with a high bomb which was fumbled and pounced up by Kevin Naiqama who scored the first try of the game.
On the next set Leeds were fooled by a Jonny Lomax dummy who broke the line to feed Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook who went in under the posts. Lachlan Coote converted to make it 12-0 after just five minutes.
Leeds reduced the deficit back to six points as Brad Dwyer caught the St Helens markers off guard from dummy half.
The ever reliable Lachlan Coote had been pretty quiet by his standards in this game but he showed class is permanent as he beat two Leeds players to score.
Golden Boot winner Tommy Makinson then provided a special finish in the corner as he grounded the ball spectacularly just before half time. Coote nailed the touchline conversion to make it 24-6.
Leeds looked a bit more fired up for the second half and started the better team. Konrad Hurrell started to look like a threat and he set up Luke Briscoe to make the score 24-10.
The game then burst into life at around the 60 minute mark as big hits were flying in all over the place and there was a bit of pushing and shoving between the two sides.
James Donaldson was sent to the sin-bin as he purposefully stopped a try-scoring opportunity by being blatantly offside.
Saints had yet to score a point in the second half until McCarthy-Scarsbrook got his second by forcing himself over despite the attempts of three Leeds players.
James Bentley then secured victory by going over from dummy half to make the final score 36-10.
How the mighty have fallen
We are used to seeing St Helens vs Leeds in semi-finals and finals. This year it was top vs bottom and it shows how far Leeds have fallen when Saints didn’t really get out of second gear to get a comfortable victory.
No Roby, no problem
Aaron Smith was someone who really stood out for Saints in this game. His distribution from dummy half is second to none while he made 40+ tackles in defence. You can see he is being groomed to be the starting number nine when Roby eventually hangs up his boots and it looks like that famous nine jersey is in good hands once again.
Leeds really need to start picking up some points and their next three games are massive. They start at home to Catalans, then a trip to Castleford before an absolute crunch match with Hull KR. The league is that tight though that if you get a run of victories then you can be back in play-off contention as Wigan have shown.
Rotation, rotation, rotation
It seems that Justin Holbrook has learnt from his mistakes last year. Holbrook went with basically the same team throughout last season and then saw that capitulate during the back end. He is giving players lots of rest of time to put them in the best possible shape for the end of the season.
St Helens 36
Tries: Naiqama, McCarthy-Scarsbrook (2), Coote, Makinson, Bentley
Goals: Coote (6)
Drop Goals: n/a
Tries: Dwyer, Briscoew
Drop Goals: n/a
St Helens: Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Smith, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, McCarthy-Scarsbrook
Interchanges: Amor, Lees, Ashworth, Bentley
Leeds Rhinos: Walker, Briscoe, Newman, Hurrell, Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Myler, Seumanufagai, Dwyer, Singleton, Ferres, Watkins, Merrin
Interchanges: Parcell, Oledski, Donaldson, Cuthbertson