Rugby League

Leroy Rivett was Leeds' unlikely hero as the Rhinos earned the right to meet Wigan in the inaugural Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford next Saturday with a 44-16 victory over St Helens.

Graham Murray's men strolled to a seven-try victory in last night's final eliminator, a match that signalled the end of an era for Saints with the departure of coach Shaun McRae.

Rivett, a late selection for the right-wing spot in place of Paul Sterling, and left-winger Francis Cummins were too hot as Leeds ran the visitors off their feet.

Cummins, given a new lease of life by skilful Australian centre Brad Godden, ran in a hat trick of tries to take his season's tally to 21 but was overshadowed by the relatively unknown Rivett.

Rivett, who began the season on loan at Second Division Bramley and had scored only three tries in his previous 10 games, demonstrated pace and guile to touch down at the start of each half and upstage Anthony Sullivan, the league's leading tryscorer.

Marc Glanville and Darren Fleary imposed their considerable presence up front, and with Richie Blackmore shading his enthralling duel with the dangerous Paul Newlove, Leeds had the edge in virtually every department.

Such was the surprising ease of their victory that Murray was able to rest man-of-the-match Glanville, Great Britain forward Adrian Morley, and Blackmore with a quarter of the game to go.

Saints, trailing 38-4 at the time, hit back with three tries in the last 16 minutes, but this was still an embarrassingly one-sided contest in front of a crowd of 13,233.

It marked the end of McRae's three-year reign, while Brett Goldspink, Karle Hammond, and Damien Smith were forced to bring the curtain down on their Saints careers a game short of their target.