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"Saints aren't world champions for nothing"
 real 14k

Saturday, 14 July, 2001, 07:20 GMT 08:20 UK
Revenge sweet for Saints
Cummins (r) could not prevent Saints rout of the Rhinos
St Helens 46-24 Leeds

St Helens talisman Paul Sculthorpe destroyed Leeds with a 26-point haul as the champions avenged their Headingley humiliation.

Sculthorpe, who scored 30 points against Warrington seven days earlier, claimed a second hat-trick of the season.

He also kicked seven goals as Saints moved to within two points of Super League leaders Bradford with a comprehensive win.

Acting Leeds captain Francis Cummins claimed his 150th try for the club on his 100th successive appearance.

Tommy (Martin) got my man-of-the-match award and he will get better as he gets over his injury - he had a hand in three tries and his kicking was great
  Saints coach
Ian Millward
But the Rhinos were a desperately disorganised outfit in the absence of their inspirational stand-off Iestyn Harris.

The platform for St Helens' eight-try triumph was laid by stand-off Tommy Martyn, who completed his rehabilitation from a double hernia operation with a masterly display.

Martyn, who missed Saints' 74-16 hammering at Leeds, created early tries for Kevin Iro and Anthony Sullivan and put John Stankevitch over for the clincher.

Martyn produced a superb dummy to put Iro over after only eight minutes and then came up with a long pass to get Sullivan tearing over at the corner.

Scattered defence

The Rhinos enjoyed an equal share of possession and territorial play but they were devoid of ideas near the line and their kicking was wayward.

The game appeared to go beyond them on 32 minutes when St Helens centre Sean Hoppe made a timely interception to break up a promising move.

Paul Sculthorpe, St Helens
Sculthorpe: Three tries and seven goals
Although Mark Calderwood got back to make a fine tackle, Sculthorpe went through the scattered defence to touch down for a third try to add to his two goals.

There seemed little way back until Sinfield finally found some accuracy with a grubber kick and the ball bounced kindly for second rower Andy Hay to re-gather and touch down.

The luck was clearly changing for the visitors when Sinfield's kick went in off an upright and he also kicked the conversion to Cummins' try, which came courtesy of a fine break by Keith Senior.

The momentum was with Leeds and they were given a helping hand when Saints skipper Chris Joynt was sin-binned four minutes into the second half.

But the Rhinos twice squandered possession early in the tackle count to hand the initiative back to Saints and Ian Millward's men needed no second invitation.

We couldn't convert our chances and that comes down to the whole team - whether Iestyn would have made that happen I'm not so sure
  Daryl Powell
Leeds coach
Paul Wellens was brought down inches short of the line but Saints maintained the pressure and second rower Stankevitch took a delayed pass from Martyn to force his way over.

The home were still down to 12 men when Sculthorpe took a pass from dummy half Keiron Cunningham to crash over for his second try.

Sculthorpe completed his hat-trick on 59 minutes, Martyn deservedly got on the scoreboard when supporting a break by Joynt and Hoppe claimed Saints' eighth try.

Leeds gained some consolation with two late tries from Tonie Carroll and Sinfield kicked his fourth goal.

St Helens: Stewart, Hall, Iro, Hoppe, Sullivan, Martyn, Wellens, Nickle, K. Cunningham, McDonald, Fairleigh, Stankevitch, Sculthorpe. Replacements: Edmondson, Jonkers, Joynt, Higham.

Leeds: Cummins, Walker, Carroll, Senior, Calderwood, Sinfield, Pratt, McDermott, Mears, Mathiou, Hay, Farrell, Clyde. Replacements: Diskin, Wrench, Mullins, Ward.

Referee: Stuart Cummings (Widnes)

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