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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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St Helens 24 Leeds Rhinos 14

13th March 2004

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos dreams of returning to Cardiff were dashed at St Helens in a thrilling match in front of a packed stadium and national TV audience.

The hosts had the better of the early pressure, with Darren Albert being held just short form their best chance, and they took an 11th minute lead through Sean Long's penalty.

WP – Home MPU

However, Leeds got the opening try just three minutes later, when Danny McGuire put Keith Senior through a gap and then supported on the inside to race over. Kevin Sinfield converted to create a 6-2 gap.

The hosts scored on 25 minutes to return to the lead, moving the ball right through Keiron Cunningham and Long for Sculthorpe's pass to send Paul Wellens crashing over out wide, Long goaling.

The Rhinos returned to the lead on the half hour, when Wellens was unable to gather Sinfield's tricky grubber and Ryan Bailey popped up to snatch his first try of the season.

Sinfield's conversion and a penalty on 37 minutes – after Lee Gilmour's obstruction on Barrie McDermott – gave them a 14-8 cushion.

Saints, though, took advantage of two costly spills by Leeds inside their own half to move into a 16-14 lead.

Firstly, a minute before the break, Long, Jon Wilkin and Jason Hooper combined to put Samoan Dom Feaunati over at the right hand corner.

Three minutes after the restart, Long, Sculthorpe and Willie Talau to put Wellens in for his second try.

Long was unable to convert either try from wide out, but did kick a 49th minute penalty after Barrie McDermott's interference on Mark Edmondson.

Leeds could have been further behind, had Gary Connolly not tackled a breakaway Wellens early in the half or Long not knocked on after he intercepted Rob Burrow's pass.

They did manage to grab the clinching try three minutes later, though, when Wilkin picked up Andrew Dunemann's stray pass and fed Talau, who scampered 25 yards to the line to touch down. Long's goal created a 24-14 winning lead.
 

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