Passion not enough for Beleaguered Rhinos to get past Saints

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Six tries and a passion born of frustration over their stuttering title defence were not enough to see Leeds Rhinos get the better of Saint Helens last night. As with Wigan and Huddersfield this was a game where the emotions of the players were visible in the determination they showed on the pitch, and the scoreline swung back and forth in favour of one team or the other as a result. Yet this was always St Helens’s game to lose, even when the Rhinos went, briefly, ahead towards the end of the first half, as whatever malaise it is that has affected the Rhinos this year continued to hold sway over the team.

Saints took an early lead, going ten points up in the first quarter of the game, only for Leeds to mount a resurgence that took them six points clear. St Helens equalised just before half time and when the teams came back out for the last forty minutes of the game, whatever magic it was that had inspired Leeds to fight back was gone. While the Rhinos could still show they had the fire to chase the game, and the skill to win it, they also showed all the problems that have produced such a disappointing season so far.

Saints were always in control of the second half, and while Leeds were able to claw their way back from the ten point deficits Saints created, they never equalised. Instead, like a wasp stinging a bull, every time Leeds threatened, Saints responded in fine form, with Kyle Amor bulldozing his way through the Rhinos’s defensive line for a memorable try. At least with Amor, who is visibly tall and strong, Leeds had an excuse, but time and again, Saints players were able to advance even when two or three Rhinos players were trying to bring them down.

Also Read:  Super Rugby Aotearoa Week 10: Highlanders vs Hurricanes

Ultimately the Rhinos defence was raggedy at best, as Theo Fages showed when he scored two tries in the last twenty minutes, the second started with a superb dummy that completely wrong-footed Leeds. The Frenchman was narrowly denied what would have been a well deserved hatrick when Luke Walsh’s missed attempt at a drop goal bounced off the post and slipped through his fingers. Either way, he has marked himself out as another fine Gallic export to watch this season, alongside the likes of Warrington’s Benjamin Julien.

So another defeat for Leeds, who will be lucky to reach the playoffs this year, but Saints too must know they are not probable contenders for a Grand Final place this year either. While they beat the Rhinos, their own defence was scrappy at times too, and against a better side they would not have managed the victory. For all that they beat Warrington, losses to Salford, Catalans, and perennial rivals Wigan this year have marked out how much improvement is needed in Keiron Cunningham’s side this year. With other members of the old guard in place on the coaching side, and the likes of Fages coming up through the ranks, Saints fans should be expectant. They may however have another year to wait before this side can mature enough to deliver the quality and calibre of play required to have a chance at gaining the Superleague title.

Gareth Wood
I'm a writer and photographer looking for new opportunities. I've written for a range of publications including Planet Ivy and Screen Robot. As a photographer I'm working on what might be my first commission.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Tewatia plays blinder as Rajasthan chase historic total to beat KXIP

Rahul Tewatia hit 5 sixes in an over as Rajasthan Royals chased down the highest score in Indian Premier League history to beat Kings XI Punjab by four wickets on Sunday. Tewatia hit Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in the 18th over and added another six of the next ball he faced as Rajasthan chased down 224. Jofra Archer hit 13 from 3 balls to see the side home.
Also Read:  Super Rugby Aotearoa Week 10: Highlanders vs Hurricanes
Rajasthan beat their own record – they...

NRL Finals Loom as Regular Season Concludes

The first fixtures of the National Rugby League's finals series are locked in after the final round of the regular season came to an end today. The Competitors While Penrith Panthers had already secured the minor premiership and the top eight were determined two rounds ago, some key positions were still open and the race for those positions made for some entertaining footy. The Newcastle Knights failed to hold sixth place, going down on Friday to a...

Russian GP – Race Preview

Russian Grand Prix can be a boring race so let's hope this race gets off to a great start. The only memory I have of the Russian GP is Valtteri Bottas letting Lewis Hamilton win. Last race at Mugello was an exciting race. With two red flags and one horrible crash. And Ferrari 1000 celebration wasn't the best either, but that might be because of the strict rules now during COVID 19. So I am happy...

Benny Leonard: Always A Champion

If you sat down with a group of boxing fans under the age of say, 50, and began to talk about whether Benny Leonard really is a Top-10 all-time fighter, you'd probably have a cacophony of voices barking at you about how great "Sugar" Ray really was. Tell them you were talking about Benny Leonard though, and you might hear a lot of "Who's that?" from the same group. But Benny Leonard most definitely belongs...

The Green Light: The Rugby Championship 2020

In what has been a challenging year for many rugby fans and mainly the players, the Southern Hemisphere's Rugby Championship 2020 tournament has just been confirmed for the back end of the season. The Rugby Championship tournament - previously known as the Tri-Nations - was inaugurated in 1996 with the three rugby-rich countries; Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, all contesting for the converted trophy. In 2012, the tournament expanded to add the South...

IPL Talking Points

Efficient CSK get the job done again Before the tournament began, the Chennai Super Kings were touted to struggle by everybody analysing the game. But, on the opening day, post the opening powerplay overs, MS Dhoni proved once again why the IPL betting odds are always in their favor. From a position where they could have chased a tall score, CSK restricted MI to a chaseable total and then led by solid innings from...

Rahul’s Historic Ton Thumps Bangalore

KL Rahul struck the highest score by an Indian in Indian Premier League as Kings XI Punjab beat Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore by 97 runs. Rahul, who scored 132 not out, also achieved the highest individual score by a captain and the best for a Kings XI Punjab player with a generous Royal Challengers Bangalore bearing the brunt of his assault, offering little in the form of resistance. After being invited to bat first, KXIP...

The Torchbearers Of Modern Football

We are standing at the end of an era that was tinted with brightness and glam. Two of the greatest sportsmen ever to grace the surface of earth are at the twilight of their careers. They are aliens, some say. Some say they are superheroes in shorts. Two names at the heart of the footballing world, for the best part of two decades. The torchbearers of modern day football. The pace-setters of the business...

Different Options For Purchasing Golf Shoes

Golf is one of the most popular sports among wealthy and upper middle class men. While some play golf competitively, others play golf as a hobby and for networking with others. The performance of the golfer depends to some extent on the golfing gear and equipment which he is using. Usually golfers are wearing special golf shoes, which are designed so that the golfer can play his shots comfortably, without slipping. Hence many of...

Russell Wilson Is An All-Time Great QB

Russell Wilson, 0 MVPs, 0 MVP votes, 0 respect. He is one of the best quarterbacks I've ever seen, and he is showing himself to be the MVP so far this year. Russell Wilson at every stage of his career has consistently been elite and has carried the Seahawks into relevancy. He is underrated, has been elite, and has been one of the best QBs in the world since he's gotten here. How is it that...

Social Connect


Trending Now

NRL Finals Loom as Regular Season Concludes

The first fixtures of the National Rugby League's finals series are locked in after the final round of the regular season came to an...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x