Rugby league: Leeds' quality shows through

Leeds 37 St Helens 18

THE MOST sterling fightback of the season was submerged in a Leeds second wave last night in a match of genuine top-of-the-table quality.

St Helens finished up on the wrong side of a clear-cut scoreline, but they showed great character to level the scores early in the second half.

The trouble was that Leeds were equally determined and the way that Iestyn Harris inspired them to pull clear once more marked them down as a team that will go the full distance this season.

Saints had the chastening experience of trailing 18-0 without playing badly. They tried everything they knew to breach Leeds' defence but were kept out by tackling that was ferocious even by the standards the Headingley side have set this season.

Meanwhile, Leeds were razor-sharp in attack, taking advantage of all their opportunities to stack up three converted tries.

Harris and Francis Cummins stretched Saints on the right to prepare the way for the first try after four minutes. When the ball went the other way, Saints were short-handed and when Chris Smith missed his tackle on Brad Godden Marcus St Hilaire was in at the corner.

A wonderful ball around the corner from Terry Newton to Adrian Morley set up the second, although Saints strongly suspected a forward pass.

Even when things went wrong, they came out right for Leeds. Daryl Powell could not hold another Newton pass, but had the presence of mind to kick the ball ahead. Powell must have thought that his days of scoring 45-yard tries were past, but he made it to the line.

It was vital for St Helens to make a breakthrough before half-time and they did so when a rare Leeds mistake, Darren Fleary dropping the ball near his line, led to Paul Sculthorpe going over.

Immediately after half-time, the power of Vila Matautia took him over for another Saints try, also converted by Sean Long.

When Paul Newlove went half the length of the field from Sculthorpe's pass, Saints were right back in it. Long could not add that goal, but a penalty soon brought the scores level.

But Harris' perfect goalkicking exhibition continued with a penalty to restore Leeds' lead. His brilliant run direct from the base of the scrum then produced a try that put them back in control.

Harris still had time to create a try for Ryan Sheridan with two minutes to play to leave a scoreline which was a harsh commentary on Saints' efforts.

A game that reflected much credit on both sides ended with controversy, with the St Helens coach, Shaun McRae, claiming that one of his players had been racially abused by an opponent, leading to Keiron Cunningham's intervention that lead him to being sin-binned. St Helens are asking the Rugby League to investigate that allegation.

Leeds: Harris; Rivett, Cummins, Godden, St Hilaire; Powell, Sheridan; Fleary, Newton, McDermott, Morley, Farrell, Glanville. Substitutes used: Holroyd, Golden, Hay, Mathiou.

St Helens: Atcheson; C Smith, D Smith, Newlove, Sullivan; Hammond, Long; Goldspink, Cunningham, O'Neill, Perelini, Davidson, Sculthorpe. Substitutes used: Pickavance, Matautia, Anderson.

Referee: J Connolly (Wigan).

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbridge Wells - £32,000

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Generalist (standalone) - Tunbrid...

Year 3 Teacher Plymouth

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

Junior Software Developer - Newcastle, Tyne & Wear - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Junior Web Developer / J...

Systems Administrator (SharePoint) - Central London - £36,500

£35000 - £36500 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator (SharePoint) -...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering