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Saints up to second
Repeat of last year's Grand Final goes against champions
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.Super League. Click here to bet.
Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||22||20|
|11||Salford Red Devils||22||17|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||22||4|
|Thursday 31st July|
|20:00||Wigan vs Salford|
|Friday 1st August|
|20:00||Hull vs St Helens|
|20:00||Catalan Dragons vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Bradford|
|Sunday 3rd August|
|15:00||Widnes vs Hull K R|
|15:00||Wakefield vs Huddersfield|
|15:30||Castleford vs London Broncos|
|Thursday 14th August|
|20:00||Hull K R vs Wigan|
|Friday 15th August|
|20:00||Salford vs Catalan Dragons|
|20:00||Warrington vs Castleford|
|Sunday 27th July|
|Huddersfield 38 - 16 Catalan Dragons|
|Bradford 16 - 8 Wigan|
|Warrington 26 - 40 Wakefield|
|Saturday 26th July|
|London Broncos 10 - 62 Hull K R|
|Friday 25th July|
|Salford 18 - 22 Leeds|
|St Helens 44 - 22 Widnes|
|Thursday 24th July|
|Hull 18 - 18 Castleford|
|Sunday 20th July|
|Hull K R 18 - 38 Salford|
|Huddersfield 52 - 26 Bradford|
|Saturday 19th July|
|Catalan Dragons 40 - 6 Wakefield|
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