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Saints Go Close At Headingley

Saints almost repeated another famous comeback on Thursday night but came up just short against Leeds at Headingley.

Saints almost repeated another famous comeback on Thursday night but came up just short against Leeds at Headingley.

A late Alex Walmsley try set up a barnstorming last two minutes after Saints had matched their hosts set for set and worked their way back into the game.

They’d lost Matty Smith to a nasty looking eye injury early in the first half too – and were on the back end of some baffling calls throughout.

Jon Wilkin was also sinbinned for a dangerous tackle that looked harsh.

But the Rhinos held on for a 24-22 victory.

The almost dramatic end to the clash was a complete contrast to a tight and tense first half.

Leeds had all the pressure early on as they forced two drop outs in a row and won two penalties.

Saints defended well and then had a set on Leeds’ line after they got the ball back from a Tom Briscoe knock on.

But on 15 minutes a piece of class saw the visitors take the lead.

The excellent Dom Peyroux bombed down the right hand side, stepped inside Joel Moon, pushed away Carl Ablett and then put Adam Swift over.

But within minutes, Joel Moon had crossed to level.

4-4 at the quarter mark, Walmsley went close before Swift just couldn’t haul in Theo Fages’ kick with six to go.

And James Roby was causing problems for the Rhinos too – but the hosts went into the sheds two points to the good following Jordan Lilley’s penalty three minutes from oranges.

Leeds extended their advantage early in the second half as Stevie Ward took a nice offload to go over.

But Saints hit back less than a minute later through a high kick.

Roby booted it on the last – Peyroux went up for it against Jack Walker, dislodged the ball and it ended up back in his hands to allow him the simple task of putting Makinson over.

The video referee taking an eon to give it.

Saints then went ahead.

A superb set got them into great field position before Fages and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook worked a wonderful move for Roby to dart in.

His 101st try of his career.

Saints were in control but on 62 minutes Wilkin was sinbinned for what was adjudged to have been a dangerous tackle.

It looked harsh but Leeds took full advantage winning a drop out and then crossing through Kallum Watkins following Tom Briscoe’s palm down from a kick to the corner.

Saints should have had a drop out on 67 minutes – but it was bafflingly given as a tap restart – and Leeds grabbed one of their own five minutes later.

And that pressure told as Ryan Hall ghosted through to take the game away from Saints.

McCarthy-Scarsbrook went close with three minutes to go then Walmsley dove over.

It set up another breathtaking end but Saints high kick, following good work from Ryan Morgan, was collected by the Rhinos’ rearguard.

The chance was gone and Leeds held out – on the back of another penalty – to seal the points.

Match Summary:

Rhinos:
Tries: Moon, Ward, Watkins, Hall
Goals: Lilley (4 from 5)

Saints:
Tries: Swift, Makinson, Roby, Walmsley
Goals: Makinson (3 from 4)

Penalties Awarded:
Rhinos: 11
Saints: 3

HT: 6-4
FT: 24-22

REF: James Child

ATT: 13,262

Teams:

Rhinos:
31. Jack Walker; 2. Tom Briscoe, 3. Kallum Watkins, 14. Liam Sutcliffe, 5. Ryan Hall; 4. Joel Moon, 25. Jordan Lilley; 8. Keith Galloway, 9. Matt Parcell, 16. Brad Singleton, 12. Carl Ablett, 13. Stevie Ward, 10. Adam Cuthbertson.
Subs: 17. Mitch Garbutt, 20. Anthony Mullally, 22. Ash Handley, 23. Jack Ormondroyd.

Saints:
1. Jonny Lomax; 5. Adam Swift, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 28. Regan Grace; 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith; 16. Luke Thompson, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 36. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 20. Morgan Knowles.
Subs: 8. Alex Walmsley, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 18. Dominique Peyroux.

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