Yates' verdict: Big Alex causing mayhem a frightening sight for young Rhinos
It probably wouldn't be fair to describe Saints' 40- 6 demolition of a youthful and battling Leeds side at the Totally Wicked Stadium last night (Friday) as like taking candy from a kid, but inspired by man of the match Alex Walmsley the defending champions erased the bitter memories of their golden point extra-time defeat against the Catalans Dragons during the Magic Weekend and crucially secured a home tie in the end-of season play-offs and a week's rest.
The prop forward was awesome in the opening 40 minutes as he ripped the heart of a Rhinos' side hoping to move a step closer to a play-off spot themselves.
But the frightening sight of Walmsley on the rampage was too much for Richard Agar's boys to handle and by half-time St Helens had established a commanding and unassailable 28-6 lead and when the number eight returned part way through the second half fully refreshed he caused more mayhem to the bruised and battered Loiners' defence.
I reckon it was one of the 31-year-old England international's best performances in the famous red vee jersey since joining the club from Batley Bulldogs in 2013 and Saints will be hoping he steers clear of injuries as the business end of the season is just around the corner.
Walmsley, however, wasn't the only shining light in the Saints' ranks. In an ideal world coach Kristian Woolf would no doubt have eased young players like Jack Welsby and Lewis Dodd into his squad, only to be left with a fait accompli when injury ended Theo Fages' season and Jonny Lomax picked up a knock and has been absent in the last few weeks,
But the young guns certainly stepped up to the plate last night and bossed the game in the middle of the park, showing inventiveness and guile beyond their tender yearsand due in no short measure to Big Alex's massive contribution.