Unbelievably, this will be Saints first fixture against Leeds for nearly 10 months, with Leeds last visit to Saints taking place on 22nd April 2016 in Round 11. Leeds arrived at Langtree Park on the back of an awful start to the season, which had seen them only pick up three victories in their opening ten fixtures – though one of those had come against Saints in the reverse fixture earlier in the season at Headingley, to give the Rhinos hope of completing a double over the Saints.
Saints meanwhile, were coming off the back of three successive home defeats against Wigan, Hull and Catalans respectively, with Kieron Cunningham coming under heavy pressure from the Saints faithful to reverse the poor run of results.
After nearly 12 months on the sidelines due to injury, Jonny Lomax returned to the side and it was a dream comeback for the fullback as it took only 4 minutes for him to cross the try line, with a 40 yard dash to the line that included a sublime dummy – a try that will live long in the memory for the fans there to witness it. Joe Greenwood went on to add a second try minutes later to leave Leeds on the backfoot, with fans being forgiven for believing at this point the game would be a one sided try scoring procession.
It wasn’t to be however, as Leeds exposed Saints early season defensive frailties with free flowing tries from Golding, Burrow and Keinhorst to give the Rhinos the lead, before Lomax added a second effort to ensure a breath taking first half would end 16-16.
In the second half, it was Saints who hit the front first, as Amor put in a booming tackle on Zak Hardaker which saw the reigning Man of Steel spill the ball on his own line for Amor to thankfully touchdown. It was more of the same from then on, as both sides traded blows. Ash Handley went over for the Rhinos, before Joe Greenwood added his second of the game.
Theo Fages then came of age to score two awesome tries – first scampering to the line to give Saints a ten point advantage, before Mullally went over again to put the game in doubt, but it was Fages second that was undoubtedly the try of the game, with Eddie Hemmings describing it as ‘Harlem Globetrotters’ style rugby!
Leading 38-28, Walsh then attempted to add a drop goal which unfortunately hit the post, with Fages unlucky not to grab his hat trick as he attempted to touch down the rebound. It was to be a nailbiting last few minutes for Saints, as Keinhorst crossed for another out wide to reduce the deficit to four points with five minutes remaining.
With the seconds counting down and Leeds sensing victory, the Rhinos kicked for the corner in the direction of Golding, but luckily for Saints Mark Percival was there to pluck the ball out of the air and give Saints a heart stopping 38-34 victory!
Want to see what was made of the result at the time? Go back into the Redvee Archive and have a read of Ste Orford’s 5 Talking Points From Saints’ 38-34 Win Over Leeds Rhinos.
This Thursday Saints will open up the 2017 Season, and whilst we hope the entertainment and result is the same – we hope the method of victory is a little more clear cut!
One thing is certain though – our fortunes this season will be based on a solid foundation of good home form, and its important we turn the Stadium into a fortress. The fans have a huge part to play in that, so it’s important we get there in numbers and back the team. Things won’t always go our way, but that’s the nature of competitive sport. Getting the win is the most important thing and we can all do our part!
If you haven’t bought already, make sure you do – tickets are available from Saints Online Ticketing.
Miss it, Miss out!