Advertisement

Challenge Cup: Leeds 6-20 St Helens - Saints beat Rhinos at Headingley again

Betfred Challenge Cup sixth round

Leeds (6) 6

Tries: Newman Goals: Martin

St Helens (10) 20

Tries: Clark, Bennison, Walmsley Goals: Lomax 4

St Helens repeated last week's Super League win over Leeds Rhinos as they won comfortably at Headingley for the second time in eight days to reach the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

The Rhinos led briefly after Harry Newman's first-half interception try.

But Daryl Clark's converted try just before the break turned the game.

Jon Bennison and Alex Walmsley added second-half tries, both converted by Jonny Lomax, as the 13-time winners eased into the last eight.

A week on from their 18-8 Super League win on the same soil, Saints stole in front with two early Lomax penalties.

But again they had to come from behind, after Leeds took the lead for the only time on 28 minutes.

Newman's cheeky interception close to his own line allowed him to gallop down the right unchallenged before angling inside to go under the posts.

That allowed Rhyse Martin to add the extras and make it 6-4 but, just a minute from the interval, Saints went back in front.

Clark's dummy exposed an unexpected weakness in the Leeds defence as he powered over from close range to the right of the posts. Lomax did the rest and that was 10-8 to the visitors at half-time as the heavens opened at Headingley.

Leeds stayed right in it until winger Bennison went over midway through the second half to ensure the Rhinos had fallen at their first hurdle in the competition for the fourth year in a row.

Lomax landed that conversion too for an individual eight-point haul to help smooth Saints' safe passage along with the night's other two winners Wigan and Hull KR.

Saints coach Paul Wellens reserved special praise afterwards for Moses Mbye, who stepped into the scrum-half role vacated by the injured Lewis Dodd, who missed the trip with an adductor muscle strain.

But Wellens hopes Dodd might be fit for next week - the traditional Good Friday clash with Wigan.

Leeds head coach Rohan Smith:

"It's very disappointing. There are a lot of hurt people in that dressing room.

"You could feel that aspect of what we wanted to accomplish this year has slipped away. It's disappointing that our focus now is on one competition so we'll dust off and go again next week.

"In the end it's a couple of deflections and a shocking miss on a barge that cost us the game.

"There's plenty for us to take out of it as far as hanging in there and keeping connected, but I thought we were not where we needed to be and the better team clearly won."

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens:

"The way Moses Mbye handled it [playing in the halves] was first class. He showed his calmness and composure. It's not too easy to step into a position that you haven't played in for a long time, but he certainly made it look easy.

"I'm really pleased with the players because there was a psychological challenge attached to that, coming back to the place where we won last week. Add on to it that it's a knockout competition and if you don't perform there's pretty severe consequences.

"Lewis Dodd had no chance this week but there is a chance he could play next week. He will have to be assessed. It's an injury where you don't want to push it and take unnecessary risks. Obviously, we hope he will be back but we will make a sensible call. "

Leeds: Miller; Momirovski, Newman, Martin, Handley; Croft; Frawley; Oledzki, Ackers, Sangare, Bentley, McDonnell, Smith.

Interchanges: Holroyd, Lisone, Roberts, O'Connor.

Sin-bin: Holroyd (58).

St Helens: Welsby; Bennison, Hurrell, Mata'utia, Blake; Lomax, Mbye; Walmsley, Clark, Lees, Whitley, Sironen, Knowles.

Interchanges: Batchelor, Bell, Wingfield, Delaney.

Sin-bin: Clark (58).

Referee: Chris Kendall.