Scintillating Leeds too much for Rovers

Last Updated: 18/09/20 11:03pm

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Watch highlights as Leeds Rhinos booked a place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals, after a 48-18 win over Hull KR
Watch highlights as Leeds Rhinos booked a place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals, after a 48-18 win over Hull KR

Hooker Kruise Leeming scored his first tries for Leeds as they booked their place in the last four of the Coral Challenge Cup with a 48-18 rout of Hull KR in their quarter-final at St Helens.

The Rhinos were boosted by the return of forwards Matt Prior, Rhyse Martin and Alex Mellor, who all sat out last week’s hard-fought win over Huddersfield due to Covid-19 track and trace protocols and contributed heavily to their quarter-final triumph.

After gaining a shock win over Wigan and taking St Helens to extra time in the previous two weeks, this seemed like a game too far for Tony Smith’s men, who trailed 30-0 at half-time.

They made a shocking start, with winger Ethan Ryan fumbling the ball in his own 20-metre to give Leeds the perfect attacking position, and the Rhinos needed no second invitation as prop Ava Seumanufagai charged over for the first try with just five minutes on the clock.

That set the pattern for the opening quarter as Rovers struggled to get out of their own half.

Ava Seumanufagai proved too powerful as he went over for the first try
Ava Seumanufagai proved too powerful as he went over for the first try

Scrum-half Luke Gale broke clear to get left winger Ash Handley over, while Tom Briscoe and Harry Newman both produced some elusive running to breach the Rovers defence as Leeds shot into a 24-0 lead inside 20 minutes.

Ash Handley scored Leeds' second try of the quarter-final
Ash Handley scored Leeds’ second try of the quarter-final

In a rare foray in the Leeds 20-metre area, Hull KR centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall got to within a foot of the tryline before succumbing to a tackle by Liam Sutcliffe and normal service was resumed when Leeming, a close-season signing from Huddersfield, forced his way over from close range for his first try for the Rhinos.

Tom Briscoe finished superbly in the right corner for Leeds' third
Tom Briscoe finished superbly in the right corner for Leeds’ third
Harry Newman's sensational individual effort saw Leeds score a fourth try in 20 minutes
Harry Newman’s sensational individual effort saw Leeds score a fourth try in 20 minutes

Trailing 30-0 at the break, the Robins made sure there would no repeat of their 50-0 rout in the 2015 final at Wembley when scrum-half Jamie Ellis kicked to the line and got the first touch to score the first of his two tries.

Seumanufagai was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Rovers second rower Matty Gee but 12-man Leeds extended their lead when full-back Richie Myler broke through the first line of defence to get Leeming over for his second try.

Leeming celebrates his second and Leeds' sixth
Leeming celebrates his second and Leeds’ sixth

Substitute winger Luke Briscoe swooped on a loose pass to race in for Leeds’ seventh try but Rovers rallied, with replacement hooker Jez Litten demonstrating rapid acceleration from dummy half to score his first try for the club and Ellis adding his second of the match to give his team more respectability.

Leeds had the final say when second rower Martin proved too strong for the Robins defence as he powered his way through for their eighth try and maintained his perfect record with the boot by kicking his eighth goal for a 20-point haul.

Hull KR coach Tony Smith was handed another worry with a biting allegation brought by Leeds second rower James Donaldson against Ellis six minutes before half-time which referee Liam Moore put on report.

Source : Sky Sports