St Helens 26-18 Leeds Rhinos: Player ratings and three major talking points

Challenge Cup holders Leeds and Super League Champions St Helens provided a classic cup tie. Both teams battled hard and showed superb grit and determination. However, it was the Saints who went marching on to the next round.

Major Talking Points:

1. Heroic cup defence from the Rhinos

The history books will say Leeds’ Challenge Cup defence in 2021 lasted one game. However, it should be remembered as one of the most heroic displays we’ve seen in the old competition. They were taking on the reigning Super League Champions who boasted a virtually full strength side whilst Leeds were missing 13 members of their first team squad. They battled hard producing an amazing defensive display to still be in the game until the final play despite being a man down. For a side without a natural half they played valiantly and when their stars return to the fold they might be a really competitive side.

2. St Helens’ wingers key

On a day where St Helens failed to execute with the ruthlessness they usually do, their wingers capitalised on the opportunities they were given. They both grabbed a pair of tries each with Grace producing the break right at the end that certainly sealed the victory and led to Makinson’s second.

3. Influential substitutes

Both St Helens and Leeds lost players throughout the game leaving their benches depleted. However, both sides had influential substitutes. 17 year old Morgan Gannon was absolutely fantastic for Leeds whilst Brad Dwyer was the reason Leeds were still in the game late on with a pair of tries. However, it was St Helens’ Agnatius Paasi who won the game with his powerful running game.

Player Ratings:

St Helens

1 Lachlan Coote – 6

2 Tommy Makinson – 8

3 Kevin Naiqama – 6

18 Jack Welsby – 6

5 Regan Grace – 9

6 Jonny Lomax – 7

7 Theo Fages – 6

8 Alex Walmsley – 7

9 James Roby – 7

10 Matty Lees – N/A

11 Joel Thompson – 6

12 James Bentley – 7

14 Sione Mata’utia – N/A

Substitutes

15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook – 6

16 Kyle Amor – 6

17 Agnatius Paasi – 9

21 Lewis Dodd – 6

Leeds Rhinos

27 Jack Broadbent – 8

2 Tom Briscoe – 6

11 Alex Mellor – 6

21 Alex Sutcliffe – 8

24 Luke Briscoe – 6

12 Rhyse Martin – 6

17 Cameron Smith – 6

8 Mikolaj Oledzki – 8

9 Kruise Leeming – 9

10 Matt Prior – 9

22 Sam Walters – 6

25 James Donaldson – 6

13 Zane Tetevano – 7

Substitutes

14 Brad Dwyer – 9

19 King Vuniyayawa – N/A

26 Jarrod O’Connor – 6

31 Morgan Gannon – 7

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