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.

Saints Line up

6 Jonny Lomax
18 Adam Swift
2 Tommy Makinson
Ryan Morgan
5 Regan Grace
7 Theo Fages
7 Matty Smith
10 Luke Thompson
James Roby
18 Kyle Amor
11 Zeb Taia
12 Jon Wilkin
13 Morgan Knowles
8 Alex Walmsley
15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook
14 Luke Douglas
12 Dominique Peyroux

Leeds Rhinos Line up

1Jack Walker
2Tom Briscoe
3Kallum Watkins
4Liam Sutcliffe
5Ryan Hall
6Joel Moon
7Jordan Lilley
8Keith Galloway
9Matt Parcell
10Brad Singleton
11Carl Ablett
12Stevie Ward
13Adam Cuthbertson
14Mitch Garbutt
15Anthony Mullally
16Ash Handley
17Jack Ormondroyd

Last updated 29 Jun 17 22:01:11


Left ourselves too much to do at the end… losing Matty Smith crucial in that first half.


And another penalty heads to Leeds. Their 11th.


High ball, Leeds collect. Clock ticking.


Surely not again?

Alex Walmsley for Saints

And converted. … two point game.


Louie close – Saints then dive over… going upstairs?


Peyroux makes a break but he can’t get his offload away and Leeds come away with it.

Jordan Lilley for Leeds Rhinos

Takes it out to 24-16

Ryan Hall for Leeds Rhinos

Pressure tells and Hall goes over.


Leeds force a drop out.


Massive set for Saints here…


Replay doesn’t make that decision any easier to take either!


Saints force a certain drop out, but it’s given the other way and Leeds come out of their 25.


Saints have the ball 30 out from Leeds line.

Jordan Lilley for Leeds Rhinos

Makes it 18-16 to Leeds.

Kallum Watkins for Leeds Rhinos

Kick to the corner, Briscoe palms it down and the centre comes up with it.


Leeds force Saints to drop out.

Yellow Card
Jon Wilkin for Saints

Wilkin sinbinned for an alleged dangerous tackle.


9th pen of the night heads to Leeds…


Big tackle from Saints as the ball comes off the crossbar on the last. They remain 16-12 up.


Penalty heads to Leeds… 8th tonight.


Good D from Saints keeps Leeds out after they got the ball fro the restart.

Tommy Makinson for Saints

Makinson makes it 16-12 to Saints.


James Roby for Saints

Theo to Louie to Roby and Saints lead!


Penalty to Saints – their third of the night.

Tommy Makinson for Saints

Makinson with the boot makes it 12-10.

Tommy Makinson for Saints

Takes an eon to give. Peyroux with the final pass


Going upstairs for a Makinson try… High ball, Leeds knock on… but then do Saints

Jordan Lilley for Leeds Rhinos

Leeds up 12-4

Stevie Ward for Leeds Rhinos

Leeds make the pressure pay – offload and it’s a simple run in.


Saints piling the pressure at one end… now have to defend a set on their own line.

Kick Off

Saints will get the second half underway – Leeds lead 6-4


Stonking run from Roby but Saints can’t find the last tackle option.

Jordan Lilley for Leeds Rhinos

Leeds 6-4 up.


Another set for Leeds on Saints line…


Fages opting to kick early in the count for Swift to chase – the winger just can’t get above Hall.


Leeds kick it into the corner – real tight game this one. Remains 4-4

Big shift from Thommo – now taking a well earned rest @plattyphoto


Chip to the corner, Swift just can’t gather it in.


Saints come again – Walmsley held up short on the last. Good contest this.

Doesn’t look like Smith will return – will update if we can.


Big hits flying in from both sides here.

20 gone and it’s 4-4. Swift’s try captured by @plattyphoto

Joel Moon for Leeds Rhinos

Joel Moon replies for 4-4

Adam Swift for Saints

Peyroux’s break is class and he puts Swift over

Knowles going close in the first 10 minutes @plattyphoto


High ball for Fages, good take from Walker


0-0 here, Saints coming out of their 20 metre line.


Briscoe drops simple clearing kick – Saints have a set on Leeds’ line.


Smith off the field after getting clattered in the tackle – should be ok to come back on


Watkins goes close and then Lomax collects a kick and has to drop out


Saints have to drop out. Leeds making the early running


Big hit on Jonny Lomax as he takes a high ball.

Leeds will get this one underway.

Boys out to warm up!