St Helens 24-25 Leeds Rhinos: Highlights, talking points and player ratings

Leeds Rhinos stunned World Club Champions St Helens with a last minute drop goal in a controversial game.

Highlights:

Leeds score sensational try
The game swung Leeds’ way early on as Sione Mata’utia hit Aidan Sezer late. In his absence, the Rhinos exploited the space with Cameron Smith and Richie Myler set new signing Nene MacDonald into space. He jinked round Jon Bennison before finding Richie Myler in support who fed Ash Handley who jinked around Jonny Lomax to score.

Saints hit back despite man disadavantage
St Helens hit back despite being a man down with Joey Lussick exploiting a quick ruck and burrowing over from close range.

Dodd dances through
The game was now well and truly in Saints’ favour. Leeds hadn’t touched the ball since a brilliant break and the momentum ended as a pass was hit back by the Saints. They rolled down field and Lewis Dodd then danced through as Leeds’ defence was sucked into the middle.

Rhinos score another brilliant score
Leeds needed a spark and it came with a brilliant score. Blake Austin produced a high bomb claimed by Aidan Sezer who kicked ahead for Rhyse Martin to score despite an effort from Konrad Hurrell.

Leeds gift Dodd a try
If you got points for style, Leeds would be leading but all tries count the same and that was the problem for Leeds as they gifted a try to Dodd as Blake Austin’s pass was dropped by Derrell Olpherts after a miscommunication. Dodd picked it up and scored.

Crazy finish from Percival
Saints scored the vital first try of the second half. A grubber kick behind from Jack Welsby looked set to yield a penalty try when Sione Mata’utia was held back but Percival caught it and despite a desperate effort from MacDonald was able to ground the ball amazingly though even might not known much about it.

Smith hits back
After another yellow card for a late hit this time from Curtis Sironen, the Rhinos hit back. Space opened up for Sam Walters and he offloaded for Cam Smith to crash over.

Makinson misses chance
This looked like a game clinching try as a smart Welsby kick was chased and seemingly grounded by Makinson but the video referee spotted separation and the try was denied.

Leeds pull level
Leeds came up with another brilliant try. After quick hands down the right, Derrell Olpherts cut back inside offloaded to Sam Walters who found Jarrod O’Connor. Then Richie Myler found Rhyse Martin and he powered out of a number of tackles to score.

Controversy reigns
Saints fans will say that Sam Walters should have been penalised for a shoulder charge on Matty Lees instead Saints were penalised. Then Konrad Hurrell was sent off at the end for hitting Richie Myler late with contact with the head.

Austin wins it
Blake Austin then won it as Leeds cut through Saints instead of going for the one. Then the ball came to Austin and he nailed the one pointer.

Talking Points:

Walters shoulder charge? So much happened in this game and with the scores locked at 24-24 in the final minutes, Sam Walter appeared to shoulder charge Matty Lees. That prompted Jack Welsby to run and take matters into his own hands as he confronted Walters. Despite having time to weigh up the decision, referee Kendall decided it wasn’t a shoulder charge and awarded Leeds a penalty.

Hurrell red card. Moments after that penalty against Welsby, Konrad Hurrell shoulder charged Richie Myler late to the head, he was shown a red card and from that penalty Blake Austin kicked the winning drop goal. Hurrell reacted angrily to the red card, taking a while to leave the field before before kicking a water bottle crate.

Saints lose their cool. Despite their heroics over the last few weeks, months and the last four seasons, St Helens lost their heads in this game. Kendall may not have got every decision right, but three players carded and Welsby and Hurrell’s actions at the end cost Saints a game they would normally have kept their heads in and won. For Leeds it’s a turning point and a chance¬† to kickstart their season now having beaten the world champs in their own back yard.

Player Ratings:

St Helens
1 Jack Welsby – 7
2 Tommy Makinson – 6
23 Konrad Hurrell – 5
4 Mark Percival – 7
5 Jon Bennison – 6
6 Jonny Lomax – 6
7 Lewis Dodd – 7
8 Alex Walmsley – 6
14 Joey Lussick – 7
10 Matty Lees – 6
11 Sione Mata’utia – 6
16 Curtis Sironen – 6
13 Morgan Knowles – 6
Substitutes
15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook – 6
18 Jake Wingfield – 6
19 James Bell – 6
22 Sam Royale – 5

Leeds
1 Richie Myler – 7
2 David Fusitu’a – 7
4 Nene MacDonald – 8
5 Ash Handley – 8
16 Derrell Olpherts – 7
6 Blake Austin – 8
7 Aidan Sezer – 9
18 Tom Holroyd – 8
14 Jarrod O’Connor – 8
10 Zane Tetevano – 7
19 James McDonnell – 7
12 Rhyse Martin – 8
13 Cameron Smith – 8
Substitutes
9 Kruise Leeming – 6
17 Justin Sangare – 8
22 Sam Walters – 8
25 James Donaldson – 6

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