Rugby League: Cummins leads the Leeds onslaught

Leeds 30 Paris St-Germain 2
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Leeds hoisted themselves back into third place in the Super League table last night with a convincing win over Paris. All the action of any note took place in the second half of a match characterised by an underlying bad temper, reflecting the meeting between the two sides in Paris last March.

The first half was on the boring side of ordinary: penalties, mostly for niggling foul play, predominated. By the end of the 40 minutes Iestyn Harris, for Leeds, had converted three of his four chances at goal, and Matt O'Connor had replied with one.

Leeds must have been subjected to a menacing toss of the head from their Rhino mascots during the interval. Helped by the absence in the sin-bin of the Paris second row Wayne Sing, for an indisciplined show of lying- on in the tackle, they were quickly among the tries before he returned, with two coming from their winger Francis Cummins. The second set the tone for a much improved Leeds approach to the rest of the game.

Allowing the ball to bounce and reading its direction perfectly, Cummins dodged the immediate tacklers and outran the rest of the defence to complete an end-to-end run to score, and Leeds started a confident procession to victory.

The second row Anthony Farrell followed up a dash to the line by Paul Sterling, himself hunting a long cross-kick from Graham Holroyd, and was in position to take Sterling's mishandle to touch down.

Sterling then had his own chance as he dispossessed the Paris substitute Anthony Hancock and took the loose ball. Then Holroyd ran on to an unselfish pass from fellow substitute Terry Newton to score Leeds' fifth try. Harris converted two of the five.

The remaining quarter hour was spent keeping Paris out. In fact, they only threatened once, three minutes from the end, when Deon Bird had a flutter, but neither opportunity - nor luck - were on the side of the visitors.

Leeds' victory leapfrogs them above Salford, who they meet this weekend, on points difference.

Leeds Rhinos: Gibson; Sterling, Blackmore, Hassan, Cummins; Harris, Sheridan; Masella, Collins, Mathiou, Morley, Farrell, Mercer. Substitutes used: Holroyd, McDermott, St Hilaire, Newton.

Paris St-Germain: Bird; Evans, Olejnik, Chamorin, Bergman; O'Connor, Martin; Sands, O'Donnell, Menkins, Sing, Peters, Lomax. Substitutes used: Devecchi, Hancock, Robinson.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford).