SAINTS suffered Grand Final heartbreak once again as Leeds came from behind to win the Grand Final 32-16.Tries from Tommy Makinson and Michael Shenton plus two goals from Jamie Foster’s boot had given them a 16-8 lead.But the loss of Paul Wellens and Shenton to injury – as had been the curse all season – put pay to their Championship hopes.Leeds led 8-2 after pinning Saints back in their own twenty for the majority of the first half.Royce Simmons’ men had to come off their own line consistently to make any inroads into the Rhinos’ defence.Both sides exchanged penalties before Rob Burrow produced a moment of class to put side ahead.In the second half, Saints had a bundle of pressure on Leeds line before Tommy Makinson unlocked the defence with an opportunistic try.Michael Shenton then sent the fans into raptures and Jamie Foster kicked two penalties to put Saints in charge.But Brent Webb pulled one back for Leeds to set up a tense finale.Burrow then combined with Hall to put Leeds ahead before Carl Ablett ended the Championship dream.Continuity was the name of the game with both sides naming virtually unchanged line-ups from the ones that won through the Semi Finals.For Saints that meant Gary Wheeler taking the ‘17th’ spot on the bench and Matty Ashurst and Tom Armstrong missing out.Ali Lauitiiti coming in on the bench for Leeds.Leeds got the game underway and Tony Puletua was the first to put in a big charge up the field.But on the Rhinos first set Brent Webb knocked on and Saints were right in striking territory.Lee Gaskell almost sneaked through and did Jonny Lomax but Brett Delaney cleaned up and galloped 40 yards; the set seeing Leeds force a drop out.Saints weathered the pressure to end a superb opening four minutes for the neutral.Both sides then fielded massive high bombs.Leeds were beginning to offer more in attack though and that meant Saints consistently coming off their own line.But it was Saints who were first to strike when Jamie Peacock was penalised and Jamie Foster slotted it over.Kevin Sinfield levelling it up on 26 minutes with a similar penalty.The deadlock was finally broken when Rob Burrow produced a scampering run from distance to put Leeds ahead.Sinfield converting with ease.Saints had a set of six right on Leeds line in the final two minutes of the half, but couldn’t break through some resolute defence.Half Time: Saints 2 Leeds 8Saints needed a big half to come away with the Championship and got off to a good start when Jamie Foster’s kick off resulted in a drop out.They then won another two courtesy of Michael Shenton’s boot.And finally, after another drop out it looked like Andy Dixon had scored but the video referee ruled he had knocked on.Saints then knocked on on their next set and that handed the initiative to Leeds – Sinfield just missing with a drop goal attempt.Tommy Makinson then scored a try out of nothing. A simple grubber looked to be going dead but Brent Webb missed the grounding and Makinson managed to stretch his arm around the full back and out down.Foster with the extras.And when Saints came again a massive towering bomb handed them another set of six. From there a superb off the scrum move involving Roby, Lomax and Gaskell saw Shenton get over.Gaskell then shoed a magnificent 40:20 and Jamie Foster made it 14-8 with 20 minutes to go.And he made it 16-8 with a massive kick from the half way line.Try scorer Shenton left the field with what looked like a dislocated elbow and Leeds then went and scored on his side.Webb putting down under pressure and Sinfield adding the extras.Sinfield made it 16-16 after Jon Wilkin was penalised for stripping.It was a major turning point as seconds later Burrow burned down the left to put Ryan Hall over.Carl Ablett made it safe for Leeds in the final stages – withThe loss of Wellens and Shenton made a massive difference to Saints tonight and once they’d gone, we couldn’t cope. But we have so much to be proud of this season.Match Summary:Saints:Tries: Makinson, ShentonGoals: Foster (4 from 5)Leeds:Tries: Burrow, Webb, Hall, Ablett, HardakerGoals: Sinfield (6 from 6)Penalties:Saints: 6Leeds: 5HT: 2-8FT: 16-32REF: Phil BenthamATT: 69107Teams:Saints:1. Paul Wellens; 28. Tom Makinson, 3. Michael Shenton, 5. Francis Meli, 22. Jamie Foster; 25. Lee Gaskell, 20. Jonny Lomax; 10. James Graham, 9. James Roby, 11. Tony Puletua, 12. Jon Wilkin, 4. Sia Soliola, 16. Paul Clough.Subs: 14. Scott Moore, 15. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 17. Gary Wheeler, 19. Andrew Dixon.Leeds:1. Brent Webb; 23. Ben Jones-Bishop, 27. Zak Hardaker, 12. Carl Ablett, 5. Ryan Hall; 13. Kevin Sinfield, 6. Danny McGuire; 8 Kylie Leuluai, 9. Danny Buderus, 10. Jamie Peacock, 11. Jamie Jones-Buchanan, 3. Brett Delaney, 21. Chris Clarkson.Subs: 7. Rob Burrow, 14. Ali Lauitiiti, 16. Ryan Bailey, 17. Ian Kirke.
ACTING Head Coach Mike Rush paid full tribute to the players following their stunning 46-6 win over Leeds on Sunday.After an eventful week the Saints produced a performance of real class to beat the Super League Champions.“I have to put that down to the players today,” he said. “They understood where we were and what position we were in. I think they have taken a long hard look at themselves, and that is what the Chairman, Board and the fans, who were fantastic, expect.“We tinkered with a few things and bringing Lance (Hohaia) in at half made a bit of a difference. Having someone older and wiser was a good thing and he was outstanding, as was Lee Gaskell who played in the 20s.“I do think the players had the shock of losing their Head and Assistant Coach and that hit home. They can make changes and they did tonight. Maybe being at home against Leeds was a good thing for us too.“The lads certainly seemed to play like they enjoyed it and now we look forward to Friday. Let’s see if we can play with the same spirit and passion we showed tonight.”He continued: “The players showed confidence and belief in themselves but we can’t get ahead of ourselves. Warrington are a good team and we need to keep our focus.”
MIKE Rush said he was happy with the 30-0 win over London Broncos but did admit he was a little frustrated with the game as a whole.“The game was a little stop start and the penalty count was something like 13-12,” he said. “25 penalties in a game is a lot but that’s how it was. It slowed the game up. Even the scrums seemed to take forever to form and the game was disrupted.“But that’s one of those things you have to learn to cope with and we did that. We would get some momentum, then we would get a penalty and sometimes it didn’t help us.“In the end though, I am happy to score 30 and keep them to nil.”He continued: “Paul Wellens is something like a year off 40-years-old and is still killing it! He has scored 23 tries and in some quarters you hear he isn’t this or that… and then you see he’s scored that many. Enough said.“Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook was man of the match for me. He brought plenty of energy against his old club and caused them plenty of trouble.“He has great speed for a front rower and is not afraid to chance his arm with an offload too.“Mark Flanagan was good too – he came off the bench and had his best game in a Saints shirt.”
SAINTS are seeking their first in in three attempts against Leeds when they host the Rhinos this Friday.Last 10 Meetings:Leeds 30, St Helens 18 (SLR6, 18/3/16)Leeds 20, St Helens 13 (SLSF, 2/10/15)Leeds 18, St Helens 32 (SLS8-R4, 4/9/15)Leeds 24, St Helens 14 (CCSF, 31/7/15) (at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington)Leeds 46, St Helens 18 (SLR20, 3/7/15)St Helens 16, Leeds 41 (SLR11, 17/4/15)Leeds 12, St Helens 13 (SLR25, 29/8/14)Leeds 32, St Helens 12 (CCR5, 26/4/14)St Helens 14, Leeds 10 (SLR7, 28/3/14)Leeds 11, St Helens 10 (SLPSF, 20/9/13)Super League Summary:St Helens won 31 (includes wins in 1999, 2001, 2007 and 2008 play-offs)Leeds won 29 (includes wins in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 Grand Finals; 1998, 2005, 2013 and 2015 play-offs)Highs and Lows:St Helens highest score: 62-18 (H, 1999) (Widest margin: 56-10, H, 2004)Leeds highest score: 74-16 (H, 2001) (Widest margin: 70-0, H, 2004)Point-Scoring Run:Luke Walsh has the longest scoring streak in the game, having registered points in St Helens’ last 24 matches.His scoring streak began with five goals and a field goal in a 35-34 home win against Huddersfield on July 10 2015.Walsh last failed to score in Saints’ 46-18 defeat at Leeds on July 3 2015.First Utility Super League Leading Scorers:Tries:1 Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers) 132 Corey Thompson (Widnes Vikings) 123 Jodie Broughton (Catalans Dragons) 114 = Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield Giants), Ben Currie (Warrington Wolves), Tom Lineham (Warrington Wolves) 107 Stefan Marsh (Widnes Vikings) 98 = Jamie Shaul (Hull FC), Josh Griffin (Salford Red Devils), Chris Sandow (Warrington Wolves), Dominic Manfredi (Wigan Warriors) 8Goals:1 = Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers), Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons), Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 394 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 375 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 366 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 357 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 328 = Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants), Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 2410 Gareth O’Brien (Salford Red Devils) 20Goals Percentage:1 Jordan Lilley (Leeds Rhinos) 87.50 (14/16)2 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 82.05 (32/39)3 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 81.25 (39/48)4 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 80.43 (37/46)5 Michael Dobson (Salford Red Devils) 78.94 (15/19)6 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 78.00 (39/50)7 = Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) (35/45), Josh Mantellato (Hull Kingston Rovers) 77.77 (14/18)9 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 75.00 (39/52)10 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 72.00 (36/50)Points:1 Pat Richards (Catalans Dragons) 1022 Rhys Hanbury (Widnes Vikings) 1003 Marc Sneyd (Hull FC) 854 Luke Walsh (St Helens) 845 Luke Gale (Castleford Tigers) 836 Liam Finn (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats) 747 Kurt Gidley (Warrington Wolves) 728 Danny Brough (Huddersfield Giants) 579 Matty Smith (Wigan Warriors) 5410 Denny Solomona (Castleford Tigers) 52
Firstly, you could select our Man of the Match and have your company name announced both across the Stadium and live on Sky Sports.Following the game you will then meet him on stage in the 1873 Lounge, give him his Champagne and he will present you with his personalised, signed shirt.This eight person package is available for just £1,000 + vat with full package details including car parking, gifts and programme advertising here.Joining us that night are Saints Legends Alan Hunte and Anthony Sullivan to discuss their careers with the Club, one not to be missed!We also have availability in Corporate Box No. 9 for 12 guests for £1,600 + vat,This outstanding private box facility comes with balcony seating and a four-course meal plus advertising in both the Match programme and on our LED boards.Full details are here – and we only have availability for one more game in the regular season, so we recommend you move quickly to secure your places.To book, please call 01744 455053 or email [email protected] for more information.