St Helens held off a spirited Leeds Rhinos challenge today at the Totally Wicked Stadium, winning 26-18 with four tries.
There were two tries each from both Tommy Makinson and Regan Grace, with Makinson kicking five goals.
The Rhinos, who were without Luke Gale, who has suffered a broken hand, were only down 8-6 at half-time, after Mikolaj Oledzki had powered his way over in the eleventh minute in response to Makinson’s opening score, with Makinson also having added a penalty at the break.
The Rhinos’ chances looked to have evaporated on 45 minutes, when Zane Tetevano was dismissed for a late challenge on Theo Fages.
St Helens took advantage of Tetevano’s absence in defence, with Grace scoring his two tries, the first coming from a superb flick from Jack Welsby, while the second came from a cutout pass from Jonny Lomax.
At 20-6 with 15 minutes to go, the result looked like a formality.
But substitute hooker Brad Dwyer was having none of it, scoring two tries from dummy-half on 67 and 69 minutes, with Rhyse Martin’s conversions putting them back to 20-18.
The game was finally settled in the 79th minute, when brilliant passing to the right saw St Helens put Makinson in for his second, with the winger converting his own try to make it 26-16.
Saints: T – Makinson (4, 79), Grace (49, 62); G – Makinson 5/6
Rhinos: T – Oledzki (11), Dwyer (67, 69); G – Martin 3/3
A full report and photos from this game will feature in Monday’s League Express, which can be ordered from all good newsagents. Alternatively you can subscribe to the printed or digital version of League Express by going here.