Leeds 6 Hull 17: Hull punish sloppy Leeds to leave Saints in the clear

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The Independent Online

Leeds' bid to finish above St Helens at the top of the Super League at the end of the regular season fizzled out in a mistake-riddled display at Headingley. The Rhinos will have to settle for second to Saints, who retained the leaders' shield with a 36-16 victory over Warrington.

Hull, although frequently just as untidy as Leeds, showed the defensive grit to win back much of their pride after their humiliation by Hull KR last week. They will now fancy themselves to go into the play-offs in fourth place.

The tone was set for a scrappy and fractious opening period when Hull's Garreth Carvell was somehow allowed to stay on the field after a horrible-looking late, high tackle on Matt Diskin, which Richard Silverwood only placed on report.

The game took time to settle down with Leeds in particular guilty of a string of handling errors. It was Willie Manu's high tackle on Rob Burrow that allowed Leeds to build the pressure that finally brought the game's first points after half an hour. Burrow kicked through and Danny Washbrook's hand on the ball merely allowed Carl Ablett to score with his first touch.

Hull were only behind for three minutes, taking advantage when their former player, Jamie Thackray, did something much more typical of the game by losing the ball in a tackle. Wayne Godwin benefited, going through some lazy defence to score from dummy half.

The game had come alive and Hull hit the front when Matthew Head's exquisite chip landed in Gareth Raynor's arms and the winger was credited with the try on video scrutiny.

The game could have been decided when Richard Whiting intercepted but he lacked the pace to go all the way. Hull did extract a penalty from the situation to which Head added a drop goal for a strategic seven-point lead. Raynor completed his old team's frustrations with his second try in the last minute.

Leeds: Webb; Donald, Toopi, Senior, Smith; McGuire, Burrow; Bailey, Diskin, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ellis, Sinfield. Substitutes used: Leuluai, Thackray, Kirke, Ablett..

Hull: Briscoe; Hall, Whiting, Yeaman, Raynor; R Horne, Head; King, Lee, Carvell, Radford, Tickle, Washbrook. Substitutes used: Manu, Godwin, G Horne, Wheeldon..

Referee: R Silverwood (Mirfield).