St Helens star centre Kevin Naiqama was pleased to overcome a tough Leeds side last night as his three tries helped the league leaders go into the Challenge Cup final next week in good form.

Naiqama scored once in the first half then twice in the second in an avalanche of points after half time that took the game away from the Rhinos, with the league leaders eventually running out 36-20 winners at Headingley, and the former NRL star was happy to maintain the club’s momentum heading into next Saturday.

“It was a tough game at the start but we came out after half time and played really well,” he said.

“Leeds have been playing well and challenging teams and have put on two big scores on in the last two weeks so we did well in the second half.”

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The Fiji international completed his hat trick in the second half with two quick fire tries on the right edge, but praised the work of his middle men for building momentum that they can take through to the Challenge Cup final next weekend.

“The boys did a great job  laying the platform for me in the middle and I just took advantage out wide.”

“We’re going pretty well but it’s a big job at Wembley and a massive game for the club against Warrington, we’re excited for the challenge,” he added.