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St Helens 36-8 Leeds: Player ratings and major talking points

A third consecutive title is still on for St Helens after a rampant semi-final triumph over a Leeds side who simply never got going. The Saints did all the damage in the first few minutes and the Rhinos never recovered.

Major Talking Points:

1. A semi-final won in 13 minutes

After 13 minutes I knew St Helens were headed to Old Trafford. They simply blew Leeds off the park. They looked faster and stronger. The Saints were essentially applying a chokehold on the Rhinos which killed off their already slim chances. Yes, the Saints weren’t miles ahead after 13 minutes but the psychological blows had been dealt, Leeds were running on fumes and Alex Walmsley had destroyed their middle defence. It was game over at that point.

2. A story of four yellow cards

Two of the four sin bins you’d have to say we’ve come to expect. Tom Briscoe’s high tackle was reckless and symptomatic of a tired Leeds side. Meanwhile, Morgan Knowles’ late shot on Kruise Leeming was anything but smart and was the kind of challenge we’ve seen handed a yellow all season. But questions have to be raised about the cards brandished to Sione Mata’utia and James Donaldson. In both cases the man tackled was already on his way to the ground and the tackler came in and made accidental contact with the head. They were definite penalties but were the yellow cards just?

3. A Leeds let down

All the talk coming from within the Rhinos camp this week was that they were ready to meet fire with fire and were set to be fierce competitors. But they lacked the edge they promised. With their big boys back down the middle, they still weren’t able to handle Walmsley and co. The performance wasn’t what was needed with their backs already against the wall up against the reigning Champions and they certainly let themselves down.

Player Ratings:

St Helens
1 Lachlan Coote – 7
2 Tommy Makinson – 8
3 Kevin Naiqama – 7
4 Mark Percival – 7
5 Regan Grace – 8
6 Jonny Lomax – 7
21 Lewis Dodd – 7
8 Alex Walmsley – 9
9 James Roby – 8
10 Matty Lees – 8
14 Sione Mata’utia – 7
20 Joe Batchelor – 8
13 Morgan Knowles – 8
Substitutes
15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook – 6
16 Kyle Amor – 6
17 Agnatius Paasi – 7
18 Jack Welsby – 7

Leeds
16 Richie Myler – 7
24 Luke Briscoe – 8
3 Harry Newman – 7
2 Tom Briscoe – 6
5 Ash Handley – 5
6 Rob Lui – 7
9 Kruise Leeming – 6
8 Mikolaj Oledzki – 6
14 Brad Dwyer – 5
10 Matt Prior – 5
25 James Donaldson – 6
12 Rhyse Martin – 7
13 Zane Tetevano – 5
Substitutes
4 Konrad Hurrell – 6
17 Cameron Smith – 6
18 Tom Holroyd – 6
20 Bodene Thompson – 7

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