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.”