Flashback: Five Top Super League Meetings vs St Helens
As we look forward to welcoming St Helens this Sunday as part of Super League’s triple header, here is a look back at some of our favourite home Super League meetings against the ‘Red V’.
Led by new signing Iestyn Harris, Leeds edged the then Champions 13-12 on home soil in 1997. St Helens had won both home and away matches against Leeds to lift the first Super League title the year before but Shaun McRae’s side went behind early on, thanks to a try from Leeds winger Paul Sterling. Bobbie Goulding and Apollo Perelini got the visitors back in the match but it was the boot of Harris that made sure of a Leeds win; the half back kicking four goals and a drop goal to open.
The Rhinos were red hot in their 2004 Grand Final winning season and a 70-0 result against St Helens at Headingley made a big statement to the league. Coming into the game unbeaten in their last four matches, Tony Smith’s men made sure that run continued, thanks to hat tricks from Marcus Bai and Danny McGuire. Richie Mathers, Keith Senior, Matt Diskin, Ali Lauitiiti and a brace from former Saint Wayne McDonald helped seal the result.
With the League Leader’s Shield on the line in 2009, Leeds and Saints met at Headingley knowing the winner would not only win the Shield but would have a favourable run in the play offs. Lee Gilmour and Carl Ablett traded tries before Ryan Hall gave Leeds a 12-6 lead at the break. Despite Chris Flannery’s try to bring St Helens to within two points, winger Hall made sure the points, and the Shield the following week, went to Brian McClennan’s side.
In an epic play off tie, it would take a late Danny McGuire drop goal to take Leeds a step closer to Old Trafford and end Saints’ season. The Champions took a 4-0 half time lead, thanks to a Kallum Watkins try, before Joel Moon took the Rhinos out to a ten point advantage shortly after the break. A double from Willie Manu shocked Headingley as the back rower tied the scores up at 10-10 before McGuire looped the ball between the posts with minutes left to spare.
A week after it was announced that Leeds and St Helens would play each other for a place in the Challenge Cup final, the two sides met in the league at Emerald Headingley. Ash Handley had shone in the reverse fixture at the Totally Wicked Stadium and the young winger was on fire again on home turf, recording a hat trick in the 46-18 win. Ryan Hall also crossed for a brace while Kallum Watkins, Kylie Leuluai and Carl Ablett all secured the two points for the League Leaders.