Leeds Rhinos v St Helens - Woolf hails hosts' 'class'

Leeds Rhinos are “class” opposition, St Helens coach Kristian Woolf reckons.

Friday, 7th August 2020, 5:00 pm

Rhinos went top of Betfred Super League after last Sunday’s stunning 27-26 win over Huddersfield Giants and have now scored more tries than any other team in the competition, despite having a game in hand.

But fifth-placed Saints are only two points adrift and tomorrow’s behind-closed-doors clash at Emerald Headingley could be one of the games of the season.

Saints, the defending champions, made a slow start to the campaign, but Woolf - who took charge in pre-season - feels they are beginning to find their feet and Sunday will be an indication of how well they are playing.

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“We see this week as a really good gauge,” Woolf said.

“It is a big game, they are traveling really well.

“They were traveling well before the Covid break and I am sure Rich [Agar, Rhinos’ coach] would say they didn’t get the whole 80 minutes right last weekend.

“But they got enough of it right to win the game and they certainly showed some class in doing so.

Kristian Woolf. Picture by Nigel French PA Wire.

“We are under no illusions, we certainly need to be better this weekend if we are going to take away two points.”

Agar saw Saints’ 34-6 demolition of Catalans Dragons last Sunday as an indication they are getting back to their best after winning only three of their opening six matches, but Woolf insisted it was a far from perfect performance.

Though they ran in six tries, their coach stressed: “I think we have got plenty of improvement in us.

“I thought we fell away from a couple of things that we were doing really well in the first half.

Tommy Makinson scores for St Helens in last week's win over Catalans. Picture by Martin Rickett PA Wire.

“We were really happy with the approach for the first game and what we need to be thinking about this week is how we can be a little bit better again.”

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Leeds' Konrad Hurrell takes on Dom Peyroux, of Saints, last season. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Thank you

Laura Collins