Saints Bow Out At Leeds

SAINTS endured a frustrating afternoon as they bowed out of the Challenge Cup 32-12 at Leeds.

The Rhinos were clinical throughout and didn’t allow the visitors a foothold in the match to book their place in the Quarter Finals.

Adam Swift levelled in the first half for Saints before Josh Jones gave them hope in the second.

But all too often Saints were left chasing shadows and they now must regroup to get back into the winning groove.

Saints were six points down at half time and although they didn’t have the bulk of the possession and territory they could have been aggrieved at both the Rhinos’ scores.

Zak Hardaker’s tries came from contentious calls – but Leeds were ruthlessly clinical – as was the way they played out their sets.

Kevin Sinfield added a penalty early in the second half before Joel Moon finished off a great Carl Ablett break.

Saints replied through Josh Jones but McGuire’s try after a great break and Jamie Peacock’s plunge over in the final stages handed Leeds the spoils.

Both sides were as near to full strength as they could get with Saints welcoming back Kyle Amor alongside Jonny Lomax, James Roby, Luke Walsh and Alex Walmsley for the big match.

Nathan Brown opted for Jon Wilkin at 6 instead of Lance Hohaia, whilst Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook moved into the second row.

Leeds made just two changes from the side that beat Salford on Monday – and they were on the up from the off.

Saints’ starts have been poor in recent weeks and once again they failed to control the ball from the kick off.

Walmsley lost the ball in the first tackle to put his side under immense pressure – but they held on.

Leeds then were given a drop out when the referee claimed Josh Jones had touched the ball on a clearing Rob Burrow kick.

It was very harsh – as the replays showed – but Leeds made Saints suffer as Zak Hardaker put down under pressure.

Sinfield with the extras.

Saints hit back with two towering bombs from Wilkin and Walsh but they found the try-scorer with very safe hands.

In the 13th minute it did click for the visitors though. There wasn’t a lot on but Mark Percival broke down the left and fed Adam Swift who showed great speed to go over in the corner.

Walsh with the extras.

Leeds had one chalked off five minutes later as Walsh lost the ball in the tackle but McGuire’s effort was disallowed because he stole the ball and knocked on.

Although they were level after 20 minutes, Saints hadn’t had a lot of the ball and territory. Leeds were completing their sets and forcing their opposition to come off their own line.

Tommy Makinson scooted down the left – opting to kick inside rather than challenging the full back – and then Leeds forced their third drop out of the match.

Saints were up to it though and almost profited when Sia Soliola combined with Percival for a real scoring opportunity.

But it was Leeds who struck at the dying embers of the half.

Sadly, it came on the back of another poor call from the referee as Makinson was adjudged to have knocked on when the ball clearly went backwards.

In fact, the winger passed it backwards as he was being dragged into touch.

But, from the scrum the Rhinos fed the ball left and Hardaker found Saints defence wanting again

Sinfield made it 12-6 to the hosts at half time before he landed a penalty four minutes into the second.

Joel Moon scored after a great break from Carl Ablett on 50 minutes but a nice delayed pass from Jonny Lomax put Josh Jones in under the posts.

It was a timely marker as another Leeds score would have seen the game beyond Brown’s men.

Walsh combined with Lomax to almost unlock the defence and later, he found a great ball to LMS who almost went clear.

Walsh’s 40:20 put them in good field position as the game entered the final ten minutes and then a crossing penalty handed them more sets.

Saints couldn’t find the execution though and seconds later Danny McGuire polished off a great performance from the Rhinos.

Jamie Peacock crashing over at the death.

Brian McDermott said the scoreline flattered Leeds a little but no-one could really be in any doubt as to who was the better side. 

Match Summary:


Tries: Hardaker (2), Moon, McGuire, Peacock

Goals: Sinfield (6 from 6)


Tries: Swift, Jones

Goals: Walsh (2 from 2)


Leeds: 4

Saints: 4

HT: 6-12

FT: 12-32

REF: Richard Silverwood

ATT: 12194



1. Zak Hardaker; 20. Tom Briscoe, 3. Kallum Watkins, 4. Joel Moon, 5. Ryan Hall; 13. Kevin Sinfield, 6. Danny McGuire; 8. Kylie Leuluai, 7. Rob Burrow, 10. Jamie Peacock, 12. Carl Ablett, 19. Mitch Achurch, 15. Brett Delaney.

Subs: 17. Ian Kirke, 18. Chris Clarkson, 21. Liam Sutcliffe, 23. Brad Singleton.


1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 22. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift; 12. Jon Wilkin, 7. Luke Walsh; 16. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 18. Alex Walmsley, 11. Sia Soliola, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 4. Josh Jones.

Subs: 8. Mose Masoe, 17. Paul Wellens, 23. Joe Greenwood, 27. Greg Richards.

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