St Helens hit back to seal smash-and-grab win at Leeds

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St Helens hit back to seal smash-and-grab win at Leeds

Leeds Rhinos 8-18 St Helens: Saints score twice in three second-half minutes to seal Super League win

St Helens recovered from going 8-0 behind at Headingley while being totally outplayed, to come back for huge victory after tries from Waqa Blake, Jon Bennison and Moses Mbye; Luis Roberts try and Rhyse Martin penalty had put Leeds 8-0 up, but they paid for not scoring more

Last Updated: 15/03/24 10:24pm

Highlights of Leeds Rhinos' clash with St Helens in the Super League

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Highlights of Leeds Rhinos’ clash with St Helens in the Super League

Highlights of Leeds Rhinos’ clash with St Helens in the Super League

St Helens scored two tries in three second-half minutes to seal a smash-and-grab 18-8 comeback win at Leeds in their Super League clash at Headingley.

Saints survived the Rhinos’ relentless early pressure relatively unscathed, then struck either side of the hour mark through Jon Bennison and Moses Mbye to claim a much-needed top-flight victory.

Paul Wellens’ men had been left reeling by last week’s shock home loss to Salford, and appeared on course for another costly reverse as the revitalised home side produced an electric opening half-hour.

St Helens' Sione Mata'utia monstered James Bentley in a tackle late in the game

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St Helens’ Sione Mata’utia monstered James Bentley in a tackle late in the game

St Helens’ Sione Mata’utia monstered James Bentley in a tackle late in the game

Underpinned by a starring role from full-back Lachie Miller, Leeds poured forward with purpose, and Harry Newman was denied by a try-saving tackle from Lewis Dodd before they grabbed a deserved lead with 10 minutes gone.

Brodie Croft sent a superb ball out right where it found Luis Roberts who sped over in the corner, Rhyse Martin’s difficult conversion, followed shortly afterwards by a much simpler penalty, stretching their lead to eight points.

Luis Roberts twisted over for his first try of the season as Leeds hit the front

Luis Roberts twisted over for his first try of the season as Leeds hit the front

Roberts put Leeds ahead with a good finish out wide against St Helens

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Roberts put Leeds ahead with a good finish out wide against St Helens

Roberts put Leeds ahead with a good finish out wide against St Helens

Restricted to a solitary charge by Matty Lees in the early stages, Saints displayed much more purpose following the introductions of Mbye and James Bell on the half-hour, and reduced the deficit after Waqa Blake burrowed over and Jonny Lomax converted from the touchline.

Waqa Blake hit back with a crucial try for St Helens against the run of play in the first half

Waqa Blake hit back with a crucial try for St Helens against the run of play in the first half

Blake narrowed the Rhinos' lead with a try in the corner after a well-worked kick attack from St Helens

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Blake narrowed the Rhinos’ lead with a try in the corner after a well-worked kick attack from St Helens

Blake narrowed the Rhinos’ lead with a try in the corner after a well-worked kick attack from St Helens

A two-point lead was scant reward for Leeds’ first-half performance, and it always felt they might be made to pay for their failure to wrest a firmer foothold as Saints pinned them back early in the second half.

Although a rare spill from Jack Welsby, under pressure from Tom Holroyd, eased the pressure and enabled a brief period of retaliation from the Rhinos, it was Saints who made their match-winning move just short of the hour mark.

Fast hands out to the right sent Bennison soaring over in the corner, then an untimely error from the otherwise impressive Miller, who kicked out on the full, piled the pressure back on and saw Mbye crashing over from close range.

Jon Bennison scored a sensational St Helens try as they recovered from 8-0 down away at Leeds to win

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Jon Bennison scored a sensational St Helens try as they recovered from 8-0 down away at Leeds to win

Jon Bennison scored a sensational St Helens try as they recovered from 8-0 down away at Leeds to win

Moses Mbye sold a brilliant dummy to the Leeds defence to go under the posts for a second try in three minutes

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Moses Mbye sold a brilliant dummy to the Leeds defence to go under the posts for a second try in three minutes

Moses Mbye sold a brilliant dummy to the Leeds defence to go under the posts for a second try in three minutes

Two more conversions from Lomax, who assumed kicking duties with aplomb in place of the suspended Mark Percival and Tommy Makinson, who had pulled up in the warm-up, all but ended Leeds’ hopes of fighting their way back into the match.

The Rhinos were riled by a tackle from Sione Mata’utia that up-ended James Bentley but went unpunished, but their only solace was the opportunity of swift revenge when the two clubs clash again at Headingley next Friday in the sixth round of the Challenge Cup.

Reaction

Paul Wellens says it wasn't a vintage St Helens performance despite beating Leeds Rhinos

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Paul Wellens says it wasn’t a vintage St Helens performance despite beating Leeds Rhinos

Paul Wellens says it wasn’t a vintage St Helens performance despite beating Leeds Rhinos

Player of the match Lewis Dodd speaks to Sky Sports after St Helens beat Leeds Rhinos

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Player of the match Lewis Dodd speaks to Sky Sports after St Helens beat Leeds Rhinos

Player of the match Lewis Dodd speaks to Sky Sports after St Helens beat Leeds Rhinos

Rohan Smith praises his side despite Leeds Rhinos losing at home to St Helens

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Rohan Smith praises his side despite Leeds Rhinos losing at home to St Helens

Rohan Smith praises his side despite Leeds Rhinos losing at home to St Helens

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