St Helens v Leeds Rhinos: Champions are still the team to beat says Holbrook

Justin Holbrook.
Justin Holbrook.
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ST HELENS may be undefeated Betfred Super League leaders, but coach Justin Holbrook insists Leeds Rhinos are still the team to beat.

Rhinos visit Saints tomorrow for one of the first big showdowns of the season and Holbrook knows Leeds will be determined to end his men’s 100 per cent record.

But he also reckons beating Rhinos, who won two of the sides’ three meetings last year, will be a scalp for Saints and the ingredients add up to a cracking clash.

“I think Leeds would be up for it anyway, even if we weren’t top,” Holbrook said.

“They are a really good side and it’ll be another tough game for us.

“We are playing Leeds and they are the defending champions so they are probably the ones everyone has to chase and we are no different.

“It will be a really hard game. They are a really hardworking team, they sort of pop up everywhere in defence and play some really good second-phase type of rugby with some quick guys and some strong outside-backs.

“They are a strong side and continue to show that. They’ve only lost one game this year so it will be a tough game, but one we are looking forward to.”

Saints have brushed aside all opposition – including last year’s league leaders Castleford Tigers – so far this season, with an average score of 31-8 in their favour.

But Holbrook believes they are not yet at their best.

“I’ve said all along, every team will improve as the season goes on,” he said.

“We are no different. Just because we are winning doesn’t mean we won’t get better.

“We definitely want to keep getting better and we will.

“They are a level-headed bunch of guys and they set high standards.

“We are playing well and we are training well so we’ll just continue that.”

Tom Briscoe celebrates scoring the Rhinos' sixth try against Widnes.

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