Saints held on to a 6-4 victory over Leeds at the Totally Wicked Stadium as they got their Betfred Super League season off the best possible start.

Trailing 4-0 at half time a piece of Theo Fages magic levelled the scores before Mark Percival’s kick proved crucial.

There was to be no repeat of last season’s high scoring clash but it didn’t mean the entertainment was any less.

It was tight and frantic throughout and a superb war of attrition.

Saints had two chances early doors to break the deadlock.

The lively Dominique Peyroux was held up over the line in the fifth minute before Percival was put into touch by some strong defence.

The home side then repelled two sets right on their own line.

As the half progressed, penalties and handling errors kept bringing Leeds closer to the Saints’ line and in the end that told as Joel Moon scored in the corner on 20 minutes.

Adam Swift nearly replied seven minutes later, but another penalty handed the Rhinos the impetus after the visitors made a break.

Saints began to work their way more into it though and pinged Leeds back on their own line twice in succession.

James Roby’s kick and Luke Thompson’s tackle then put the Rhinos their heels again.

And when Saints forced an error from Golding to gain another set as the half closed, they looked set to level the scores.

But Tommy Makinson was held up agonisingly over the line.

Into the second half and within the first minute Alex Walmsley produced a fine offload for Roby to almost go under the posts.

The big prop was then held up over the line but seconds later Theo Fages produced a cool dummy to cross.

Saints looked buoyed by the score but it took a Makinson wonder tackle on Liam Sutcliffe to make sure they retained the lead.

Watkins got the better of Mark Percival but his wingman came up with a cracker to deny the try.

On 65 minutes, Saints almost extended their lead.

Danny Richardson put Tommy Makinson clear but he just couldn’t evade the defence.

But as it then came left Swift had beaten his opposite number but Fages’ chip through was a little too strong.

The final stages were frenetic as Leeds tried to get over the line, but Keiron Cunningham’s men held on to get the two points.

Match Summary:

Saints:

Tries: Fages

Goals: Percival (1 from 1)

Rhinos:

Tries: Moon

Goals: Sutcliffe (0 from 1)

Penalties Awarded:

Saints: 6

Rhinos: 10

HT: 0-4

FT: 6-4

REF: Phil Bentham

ATT: 12,208

Teams:

Saints:

1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 5. Adam Swift; 6. Theo Fages, 24. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor 17. Tommy Lee, 14. Luke Douglas, 11. Joe Greenwood, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 12. Jon Wilkin.

Subs: 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 20. Morgan Knowles.

Rhinos:

1. Ashton Golding; 2. Tom Briscoe, 3. Kallum Watkins, 4. Joel Moon, 5. Ryan Hall; 14. Liam Sutcliffe, 7. Rob Burrow; 17. Mitch Garbutt, 9. Matt Parcell, 10. Adam Cuthbertson, 11. Jamie Jones-Buchanan, 12. Carl Ablett, 16. Brad Singleton.

Subs: 13. Stevie Ward, 18. Jimmy Keinhorst, 20. Anthony Mullally, 24. Jordan Baldwinson.

Saints Line up

1 Jonny Lomax
2 Tommy Makinson
3 Ryan Morgan
4 Mark Percival
5 Adam Swift
6 Theo Fages
7 Danny Richardson
8 Kyle Amor
9
10 Luke Douglas
11 Joe Greenwood
12 Dominique Peyroux
13 Jon Wilkin
14 Alex Walmsley
15 James Roby
16 Luke Thompson
17 Morgan Knowles

Leeds Rhinos Line up

1Ashton Golding
2Tom Briscoe
3Kallum Watkins
4Joel Moon
5Ryan Hall
6Liam Sutcliffe
7Rob Burrow
8Mitch Garbutt
9Matt Parcell
10Adam Cuthbertson
11Jamie Jones-Buchanan
12Carl Ablett
13Brad Singleton
14Stevie Ward
15Jimmy Keinhorst
16Anthony Mullally
17Jordan Baldwinson

Last updated 12 Oct 19 19:51:29

79'

Last set time. Saints defend following play on after obvious Leeds knock on

77'

Thompson loses the ball – not a place to do it. In Saints’ half.

71'

Leeds pinged for a forward pass Tom Brady would have been happy with.

68'

Great kick from Jon Wilkin and Leeds are on their line.

67'

Leeds force drop out.

65'

Almost from Saints; Richardson puts Knowles clear – he can’t get over, ball comes left and Swift is unlucky form Theo’s kick.

64'

More good D from Saints, but they can’t survive on that alone.

61'

Saints coming off their own line. Strange period to the match, Leeds edging it at present in terms of possession.

58'

Saints penalty!

58'

Scrappy middle spell to this game

57'

Saints get a penalty as Leeds play the ball off the mark.

56'

Amor pinged for a penalty after he was lay all over. Shocking call.

55'

Good take from Saints

53'

Another good set from Saints – and the inevitable penalty follows.

51'

Saints kicking much better and Leeds are now coming off their line.

47'

Try saver from Saints – a wonder tackle from Makinson

47'

Big opening to the half from Saints there – and they lead.

45'
Goal
Mark Percival for Saints
44'
Try
Theo Fages for Saints

Little dummy and Theo is over!

42'

Saints force a drop out.

42'

Wonderful offload from Walmsley to Percival takes Saints to under the posts The big man then goes over… but we’re off to the video screen once more.

41'

A penalty to Saints!!!!

40'
Kick Off

Leeds get the second half underway

39'

Saints lose the ball on their own line… and then Leeds are handed their 7th penalty of the game.

38'

No Try – and then Saints lose the ball

38'

Vid ref looking at a possible Saints try

37'

Saints force error from Golding – get another set.

37'

Lomax off the field for a concussion assessment

35'

Kick from Saints and a great tackle from Luke Thompson. That’s more like it boys.

33'

Saints complete another set and Leeds are coming off their own line. Good signs for the home side.

31'

Saints finally get some ball and work their way into Leeds 10. The difference in the speed of the ruck between the sides is baffling.

30'

Another penalty for Leeds. Their sixth.

29'

More Leeds’ pressure coming up after another Saints handling error.

27'

Half break from Leeds, Saints concede a penalty.

26'

Swift takes Fages’ kick to the corner but can’t ground and loses the ball. Promising from Saints.

24'

Good D from Saints and a decent take from Makinson brings the ball out. Saints looking for a spark.

23'

Simple high ball and Swift puts it on the deck. Big D needed.

23'

Saints placing too much pressure on themselves – been all Leeds since the opening five minutes and that try was not unexpected.

22'
Try
Joel Moon for Leeds Rhinos

It goes up to the video referee but there’s no doubt and Joel Moon crosses.

20'

Another set for Leeds after an interception attempt fails. More pressure for the home side to soak up.

19'

Peyroux unlucky with the offload – Richardson just can’t grab it in.

16'

More good D from Saints, and a penalty follows.

14'

Another penalty to Leeds…

13'

Tommy Makinson on the burst from a good set.

12'

And Leeds get another penalty coming off the back of a kick on the last.

11'

Ryan Morgan makes half a break

10'

Great D from the home side – two sets on their line, repelled.

9'

And Leeds get another penalty

8'

Big hits flying in from Saints.

7'

Slight break in play as Liam Sutcliffe receives some treatment – and then there’s a difference in opinion following a Leeds’ penalty!

6'

Saints D solid so far but then they lose the ball in their own 40.

5'

Percival into touch. Big defence from Leeds

4'

Peyroux held up over the line

3'

Half break from Theo…

3'

Saints gain a penalty

2'

Jonny Lomax takes a bouncing ball.

1'

But Luke Douglas drops the ball as Saints press. Early errors from both sides.

1'

Saints force an error from Leeds; they have a scrum 40 out.

0'
Kick Off

Saints get this game underway!