Leeds United: Smart money on a quick Saints start after ‘penny drops’ for Rhinos

Keiron Cunningham.
Keiron Cunningham.
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A FAST start is the priority for St Helens against Leeds Rhinos tonight.

Rhinos led 16-0 after 11 minutes when the teams met at Headingley last month.

Saints hit back to go in front just before the break, but Rhinos went on to win 30-18.

“We were our own worst enemy in the game at Headingley,” admitted Saints boss Keiron Cunningham.

“Hopefully we can start a bit better this time.”

That was one of just three wins for Leeds so far this year, all at home.

But they are on the back of a 20-18 victory over Hull a week ago and Cunningham said: “I thought they were very good, it was a really dogged win. I have watched Leeds’ last four games and every one of them was dogged.

“They should have beaten Salford the week before.

“I am sure if there had been a video referee there it might have been a different game.

“That’s exactly where they’ve been at, they’ve been fighting and battling to the end of every game and I think there’s been one try in it in six or seven games for them.”

Cunningham added: “Leeds’ spirit never dies, regardless of which players leave and which come in, they have still got that attitude.

“They are just finding a different way of playing without those players they’ve lost. I think the penny sort of dropped for them last Friday.

“I was hoping it would last another few weeks, but Brian McDermott is a good friend of mine and I enjoy the Saints-Leeds battles.”

Leeds Rhinos and Castleford Tigers forthcoming clash at Elland Road, Leeds, on Friday 23rd March. Pictured Castleford players Grant Millington and Ben Roberts, with Leeds Rhinos players  Jamie Jones-Buchanan, and Kallumm Watkins.

Video: McDermott looks for Leeds Rhinos to ‘step up again’ against Castleford Tigers