LEEDS Rhinos may have hit a sticky patch, but Saints boss Justin Holbrook expects the champions to raise their game at Headingley on Friday(7.45pm).

And he wants them to be ready for that.

He has studied a pattern of Leeds losing games prior to facing Saints, but the sight of the red vee appears to bring them back up to the mark.

The Rhinos are the only top flight team Saints have yet to defeat since Holbrook took over the reins, with a brace of two-point defeats last summer followed by a 28-20 home reverse this March.

It is a trend the Saints boss is determined to put a halt to on Friday.

Holbrook said: “Leeds are a tough team to play against.

“They are not sitting as well as they would like, but they always play well against us.

“Every time I look at games prior to playing them, they don’t play as well as they do against us.

“I am expecting the same this week.

“I won’t be dwelling too much on Huddersfield beating them because that will make them tougher to play against.

“We will have to play well to beat them.”

Leeds are one of only two teams to beat Saints this year, a result which sticks out this season.

“We seem to bring out the best in Leeds, but that is up to us to change.

“At the moment I am sure they are saying ‘we are playing Saints and we are looking forward to it.’

“They have their joy out of recently but it is up to us to end that and go out and do what it takes to come away with a win,” Holbrook said.

Holbrook sees the threat coming from the quick play the balls off the strong line clearances from the back three.

“It is the speed of the ruck that they are strong at.

“Their outside backs Ryan Hall and Tom Briscoe lead the competition in quick play the balls, and Matt Parcell is lightning out of dummy half.

“Then you have the unpredictability of Adam Cuthbertson, which means they throw the ball anywhere.

“If they stick, they are hard to play, if they come up with a lot of errors the opposition beats them.

“But against us they always seem to complete at 80 or 90 per cent and they stick.

“We have to prepare for that,” he said.