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Leeds Rhinos 12-13 St Helens: Highlights, player ratings and talking points

Morgan Gannon Leeds Rhinos

Despite a valiant effort with three players sent off and a man sin binned, Leeds forced Champions St Helens to golden point but with a minute left of golden point Lewis Dodd nailed the drop goal that settled it.


Fast start from the Rhinos
It was a fast start from the Rhinos. Leeds went the length of the pitch. Quick hands inside their own 20 metres, Ash Handley released second-row Rhyse Martin. He cut inside of Konrad Hurrell and Jonny Lomax to tear completely away. He had Richie Myler on his inside and Ash Handley on his outside and he made the right choice in passing the ball to Handley to score a delightful try.

Rhinos error leads to Saints try
After a lovely Nene MacDonald break, Leeds looked set to question Saints again but a knock on from Tom Holroyd gave Saints the field position they needed to test the Rhinos and they did pushing wide with a delightful set play with Tommy Makinson finishing in the corner.

Myler bomb causes chaos
A huge kick from Richie Myler and a brilliant chase from Sam Walters coupled with Tommy Makinson coming across to protect his fullback saw a collision and meant Jack Welsby couldn’t take the ball cleanly and Cameron Smith was on hand to score.

Rhinos down to 14
After losing Aidan Sezer early, it was a really makeshift Leeds team when both Harry Newman and Morgan Gannon were helped from the field with leg injuries within minutes of each other.

Tough call against Leeds
It was a very tough call against Sam Walters when his try was disallowed and a knock on was given against the big prop as he looked to stretch over and score.

Sironen strikes as Saints comeback starts
Saints started the second half like they meant business and soon were right back in the game when a lovely ball allowed Curtis Sironen to crash through on a brilliant line.

Leeds denied again
This was harsh but the rules are the rules. A brilliant run and offload from Tom Holroyd seemed to create a try for fellow prop Justin Sangare but the French forward was forced to juggle the ball and as Agnatius Paasi touched the ball the rules stipulate that that is a knock on.

Makinson levels matters
Leeds were soon without any subs when Tom Holroyd limped off the field but the Rhinos were undoubtedly doing it tough but they felt hard done by when Sangare was penalised for taking a plater out and Makinson nailed the penalty to make it 12-all.

Madness at the end
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for Leeds it has with James McDonnell sent off with three minutes to go. McDonnell was involved in an altercation with Jonny Lomax where he grabbed the stand-off round the head. The incident came after three consecutive sets on the Saints line after a flurry of mistakes. However as Headingley called for Leeds to drop a goal, Leeds probed for the try on the first tackle with Sam Walters flicking the pass out to Nene MacDonald but the winger couldn’t reach it. Then something sparked a brawl between both sets of players with McDonnell and Lomax the epi-centre of it all. The Saints naturally were awarded a penalty and it looked certain they’d go for the drop goal. They did with World Club Challenge hero Lewis Dodd tasked with the effort. On his 300th appearance Myler shot out to stop him and denied him and on his second attempt Dodd sailed the ball wide of the mark. Golden point then ensued.

Hip drop tackle sees Martin miss chance to win it
It has become a real talking point lately has the hip drop tackle and Sione Mata’utia was seemingly sin binned for a hip drop tackle, at the least a dangerous tackle. Rhyse Martin then had a 45 metre effort at winning the game in the first half of golden point but his effort was short.

Dodd wins it
In the final minute of extra time, Lewis Dodd nailed the drop goal after a number of missed attempts to claim the win for the Saints.

Talking Points:

Valiant Rhinos
What an effort from the Rhinos tonight. They were down to 14 players for most of the game through injuries and still forced the Champions to Golden Point extra time. In the end some of their decision making let them down but without a halfback on the field making those decisions is tough.

Saints not at their best
St Helens should have that game won far earlier than golden point. Not just with their prior drop goal attempts but with the calibre of player they had on the field and the fact the opposition were down to 14 players and had a very strange line up, they should have picked up the win.

Busy week for the disciplinary
It is going to be a busy week for both clubs next week in front of the disciplinary with both sides suffering cards and a few other incidents that could be picked up by the disciplinary.

Two disallowed tries key
Leeds fans will feel that their two disallowed tries were harshly disallowed. The Sangare one is simply bad luck but within the rules the correct call. As for Walters’ that is one of those where if the referee sends it up as a try it is likely given.

Player Ratings:

Leeds Rhinos
1 Richie Myler – 8
16 Derrell Olpherts – 6
3 Harry Newman – 6
4 Nene MacDonald – 7
5 Ash Handley – 8
20 Morgan Gannon – 6
7 Aidan Sezer – N/A
18 Tom Holroyd – 8
14 Jarrod O’Connor – 8
22 Sam Walters – 8
12 Rhyse Martin – 8
19 James McDonnell – 8
13 Cameron Smith – 8
8 Mikolaj Oledzki – 7
25 James Donaldson – 6
17 Justin Sangare – 8
26 Corey Johnson – 7

St Helens
1 Jack Welsby – 6
2 Tommy Makinson – 7
23 Konrad Hurrell – 6
3 Will Hopoate – 6
25 Tee Ritson – 8
6 Jonny Lomax – 6
7 Lewis Dodd – 7
8 Alex Walmsley – 8
9 James Roby – 7
15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook – 7
16 Curtis Sironen – 8
12 Joe Batchelor – 7
19 James Bell – 7
11 Sione Mata’utia – 6
14 Joey Lussick – 7
17 Agnatius Paasi – 7
18 Jake Wingfield – 7

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