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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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St Helens 16 Leeds Rhinos 19

30th September 2005

By Leeds Rhinos

With ten minutes to go in this pulsating game it looked like the Rhinos would be returning to Old Trafford at a canter rather than the full blooded hack it became in the end.

The game started in frantic fashion with both teams trying to take advantage of the rain sodden pitch.   The Rhinos had to defend brilliantly and looked to have spurned their best opportunities to open the scoring after failing to cross the line from three consecutive penalties less than ten metres out. St Helens appeared to be clearing their line through Jamie Lyon, however a powerful hit from Chris McKenna freed the ball and Danny McGuire to snatch up the floating ball and race through untouched to score. Sinfield added the conversion.

WP – Home MPU

Leeds then produced one of the most heroic defensive efforts seen all season to constantly hold out wave after wave of Saints pressure own line and gained their reward after 33 minutes.  Having moved the ball down field, Diskin put a reverse pass into Ward to score from close range.

The home side came firing back at Leeds and the Rhinos tackled like men possessed to leave it 12-0 at half time.
After 52 minutes Ali Lauitiiti produced a moment of brilliance to extend the lead. The Rhinos were under pressure again on their own line when Hooper put a grubber kick through. The giant Kiwi controlled the kick with his studs, collected the ball and raced 80 metres for the try, leaving Paul Wellens in his wake as he powered up field. Sinfield added the conversion and a drop goal 15 minutes later to extend the Rhinos lead to 19-0.

Two minutes later, St Helens began their fight back with Lyon’s first try before the Australian set up Hardman for another try in the corner. However crucially he could not add the conversion.

The Rhinos were now rattled and when Marcus Bai failed to control a chip through Saints seized their opportunity. They tried two breaks from dummy half before spreading it wide and Lyon dived in for his second try of the night. He then added the conversion to put the home side to within three points with five minutes remaining.

That led to a grandstand finish with incredible tension and excitement but Leeds held their nerve and booked their place at Old Trafford.
 

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