Super League: Kruise Leeming double helps Leeds Rhinos see off Salford Red Devils 38-16
Hooker Leeming ran in two tries for the hosts at Emerald Headingley as the Rhinos returned to winning ways in Super League; Harry Newman, Callum McLelland, King Vuniyayawa and Matt Prior also crossed for Leeds
Last Updated: 23/07/21 10:52pm
A double from Kruise Leeming helped Leeds Rhinos overwhelm Salford Red Devils 38-16 at Headingley in the Betfred Super League.
Hooker Leeming crossed for two tries in the first half, with team-mate Rhyse Martin kicking seven goals, as the Rhinos romped home easily for their seventh win of the season.
Salford headed into the game after back-to-back victories while Leeds had suffered consecutive defeats at the hands of Catalans in the past fortnight - but it was the Rhinos who controlled proceedings on their home turf and were barely troubled by their opponents.
Leeds were without half-back Luke Gale, prop Tom Holroyd and winger Tom Briscoe, with their places taken by Callum McLelland, King Vuniyayawa and Ash Handley in the starting side.
For Salford, Matty Costello was replaced by Harvey Livett in the centres with Josh Johnson making way for Jack Ormondroyd in the front row.
Three minutes in and Red Devils centre Krisnan Inu looked to have scored, but the referee waved the calls for a try away.
Instead, it was the home team who took the lead just five minutes later through Newman. After a quick interchange of passes with Ash Handley on the left wing, the centre dived over to put the Rhinos 4-0 in front. Martin nailed his conversion from the sideline to make it 6-0.
Almost immediately Leeds marched Salford down the field and were in again for another try on the same flank, this time through Leeming. Handley found space out wide and put Leeming through to cross, before Martin took the lead to 12-0.
The Rhinos were dominant and the Red Devils struggled to get the ball out of their own half, and in the 24th minute Martin inched Leeds further ahead with a penalty goal after Lee Mossop was penalised for a lifting tackle.
Salford continued to find it difficult to break down a committed Rhinos defence, and nine minutes before half-time Leeming continued Leeds' dominance when he broke through some soft tackling to make it 18-0. Martin added the extras and Leeds were in complete control as the interval approached.
In the second half, the Red Devils started strongly and finally got on to the scoreboard in the 47th minute when Ken Sio dived over on the right wing. Inu was unable to convert the try from out wide, so it remained 20-4.
Soon after Tui Lolohea was sent to the sin-bin for dissent, and then Salford team-mate Seb Ikahihifo joined him on the sideline after a scuffle broke out.
With tempers flaring, Leeds took advantage of their extra two men and McLelland touched down to sniff out any hope of a Salford comeback. Martin took the lead out to 26-6 with his fifth successful conversion of the night.
Three minutes later Vuniyayawa grabbed the Rhinos' sixth try of the contest, with Martin again landing his conversion.
The Red Devils managed to pull a try back when Lolohea won the race to Sio's grubber to score, before Matt Prior and Inu traded tries to conclude the scoring.