Saints up to second
Repeat of last year's Grand Final goes against champions
Last Updated: 24/04/10 8:21pm
Roby: Two tries
St Helens have climbed up to second place in the Super League table after beating Leeds 41-20 at Knowsley Road.
While Saturday's result leaves the defending champions outside the top eight, it will offer Saints a measure of revenge for their Grand Final defeat last autumn.
Although the home side conceded a first-minute try, they soon established control of the match and built a 20-6 half-time lead.
The Rhinos attempted to mount a second-half fightback but they remained outclassed by Mick Potter's side.
Substitute James Roby scored two of St Helens' six tries, while 19-year-old winger Jamie Foster kicked eight goals from as many attempts just one week after achieving the same feat on his debut against Toulouse in the Challenge Cup.
Both sides were missing key players for the match - Leon Pryce absent for Saints with a toe injury while Leeds were hit by the late withdrawals of Brent Webb and Carl Ablett.
The home side made the worst possible start when Kyle Eastmond's kick-off went straight into touch, giving the visitors the first chance to attack.
Leeds exploited to maximum effect with a score from their first set as a superb offload from the tackle by second rower Ian Kirke set up deputy full-back Lee Smith.
Captain Kevin Sinfield added the conversion to make it 6-0 but that was as good as it got for the Rhinos in the first half.
Saints hit back with a string of penalties while Keiron Cunningham and Chris Flannery both had tries ruled out by video referee Steve Ganson - Saints' captain being held up over the line while the centre was adjudged to have touched the dead-ball line.
Ganson also ruled out a Leeds try - winger Ryan Hall found to have obstructed - but there was nothing wrong with the two subsequently scored by Saints.
Cunningham was the architect of both as first Moore and then Tony Puletua received passes from their skipper close to the line to cross within a five-minute period.
Foster converted both, did the same when Roby crossed just before the break, and also added a penalty inbetween times for good measure.
Danny McGuire went close to pulling a try back for Leeds early in the second half but Saints extended their lead after 47 minutes when clever handling from Eastmond got Flannery over.
Eastmond then kicked a drop goal before Leeds at last began to get their act together.
McGuire set up centre Brett Delaney to touch down and the stand-off also combined with Sinfield and Delaney to put Hall over in the corner.
Even so, the home side scored twice more as second rower Matty Ashurst finished off a break from Eastmond before Cunningham sent Roby over for his second.
Leeds were by now well beaten but there was still time for scrum half Rob Burrow to sprint the length of the field for the game's final try.
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Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves