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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 22 St Helens 30

20th May 2013

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos allowed a 16-0 first half lead to slip away as they lost to St Helens 30-22 at Headingley Carnegie on the opening Monday night game of the summer.

The Rhinos were without Jamie Peacock and Carl Ablett but were boosted by the inclusion of Brett Delaney after he overcame a shoulder suffered in the defeat to Huddersfield in the Tetley's Challenge Cup nine days earlier. 

WP – Home MPU

Ryan Bailey started at prop for the Champions with Chris Clarkson coming into the starting line up at loose forward and Joe Vickery making a return on the wing to allow Kallum Watkins to switch to centre to cover for Ablett. 

The Rhinos made a strong start as they immediately looked to put their Cup hangover behind them. They opened the scoring after just six minutes when Kallum Watkins latched onto Kevin Sinfield’s pass and had too match power close to the line to be stopped as he crossed for his ninth try in seven consecutive games this season.

The home side then doubled their advantage following a series of errors by St Helens early in the tackle count near their line. Eventually the pressure had to tell and Joel Moon took McGuire’s short pass and stretched out to touch down. McGuire was taken out by Sia Soliola after the pass and found himself on report from referee Ben Thaler. Sinfield converted the second try having pulled his earlier effort wide and his side led 10-0 after as many minutes.

Saints managed to get some possession after that but Leeds were alert to the danger on each occasion. The Champions then punished the visitors once again on their next visit to their line when Rob Burrow spotted a gap and darted through low to touch down. Sinfield’s conversion making it 16-0 to Leeds just over a quarter of the way through the game.

Leeds were guilty of conceding some soft penalties after that which allowed the visitors to get a foothold in the game. The Rhinos produced some impressive goal line defence with Chris Clarkson producing a certain try saver on Tom Makinson. However, hooker Stuart Howarth threw a dummy and went to the blindside in midfield to give prop Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook a simple run in. Makinson added the conversion.

With five minutes to go until half time, things got even better for the visitors when Howarth once again created the gap and this time it was Soliola who took the last pass to score between the posts. Makinson was on target again to leave the game back in the balance at 16-12 at half time.

The Rhinos endured a nightmare start to the second half as Saints continued their dominance and the home side barely touched the ball for the opening ten minutes. There first try came following some good defence near the Saints line but, under pressure, they spread the ball wide and Manu passed around the back of McGuire to set Mark Percival away. He drew the last defender and put Makinson in for the try.

Zak Hardaker was attempted to get out of his own in goal when he took a pass from Ryan Hall but as he stretched to get the ball down out of his in goal, video referee Steve Ganson adjudged he had lost the ball and Anthony Laffranchi picked up the ball and touched down.

Soon after Hardaker allowed a ball to bounce at his feet and lost it allowing Makinson to pick and touch down. He only converted one of the tries but his side had a commanding lead at 26-16 after 53 minutes.

Leeds hit back through Ryan Bailey when he took Rob Burrow’s short pass near the line but any chance of a fight back was quashed when Luke Thompson powered his way over to touch down. Makinson missed again but time was the Rhinos enemy and they could not cut the gap any further.  

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