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Leeds

  • Moon, Watkins,
    Goals: Sinfield,
    Drop goals: McGuire,
11 - 10

St Helens

  • Manu (2),
    Goals: Turner,
  • Super League
  • Preliminary Semi-Final
  • 20th Sep 2013
  • Expected to be shown on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD1
  • KO 20:00
  • Att: 12,189

Super League play-offs: Leeds Rhinos scrape past St Helens

Last updated: 21st September 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

ST HELENS TRY CELEBRATION

Willie Manu: Brought St Helens back into it with two drop goals

DANNY MCGUIRE LEEDS RHINOS

Danny McGuire: Was the hero for Leeds after late drop goal

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Leeds kept their hopes of defending the Super League title alive after a late Danny McGuire drop goal gave them a thrilling 11-10 victory over St Helens at Headingley.

The Rhinos surged into a 10-point lead thanks to tries from Kallum Watkins and Joel Moon but the visitors fought all the way back to level things up as Willie Manu crossed the whitewash twice.

Saints, who have lost to Leeds in four of the last six Grand Finals, then had the chance to edge in front heading into the closing stages but Jordan Turner sliced a difficult conversion wide of the posts.

With the final minutes ticking down the contest became a race to convert the one-pointer, and after Jon Wilkin scuffed his attempt, McGuire coolly slotted over after being fed the ball from Kevin Sinfield.

The Rhinos will now face either Wigan or Warrington in the semi-finals, with the latter team able to pick Leeds or Huddersfield as their opposition via Club Call on Sunday.

The first half was tightly contested although both teams did look good on the counter-attack early on, with both Saints backs Tommy Makinson and Adam Swift both getting the chance to show their pace.

It took a tremendous cover tackle from Leeds skipper Sinfield to deny Swift, while Rhinos full-back Zak Hardaker threatened for the hosts with a number of breaks from deep.

Possession

The champions had the majority of possession in the first half and finally took the lead on 31 minutes when Watkins went over for his 20th try of the season.

Video referee Ben Thaler awarded the score after the centre had taken Hardaker's pass and twisted out of Francis Meli's tackle to reach the line before losing his grip on the ball.

There was an equally close call five minutes later when McGuire forced his way through several tacklers to plant the ball on the line but Thaler, using vision from RefCam, ruled he had lost control of it.

Saints' best chance of the opening 40 minutes came when prop Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook reached the tryline but was held on his back.

Leeds ought to have been further ahead at half-time but the scoreline took on a fairer reflection three minutes after the restart when McGuire's stabbed kick to the line bounced perfectly for centre Moon to touch down.

Sinfield's conversion made it 10-0 but a handling error from prop Jamie Peacock in his own 20-metre area gifted Saints the ideal attacking position and they capitalised as Manu took Wilkin's pass over the line.

Turner's goal cut the deficit to just four points and, with Wilkin orchestrating and kicking to good effect, St Helens continued to pile on the pressure.

It remained scoreless for 20 minutes until Wilkin produced another slick pass to get Manu romping over for his second try which brought the scores level and set the scene for the dramatic finish.

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Super League Table

Super League Table - September 14 2014
Pos Team P Pts
1 St Helens 27 38
2 Wigan Warriors 27 37
3 Huddersfield Giants 27 37
4 Castleford Tigers 27 36
5 Warrington Wolves 27 35
6 Leeds Rhinos 27 32
7 Catalan Dragons 27 29
8 Widnes Vikings 27 27
9 Hull K R 27 23
10 Salford Red Devils 27 23
11 Hull FC 27 22
12 Wakefield Wildcats 27 21
13 Bradford Bulls * 27 10
14 London Broncos 27 2
Forthcoming Super League Fixtures
TimeFixture
Super League
Thursday 18th September
20:00Wigan vs Huddersfield
Friday 19th September
20:00St Helens vs Castleford
Saturday 20th September
14:45Warrington vs Widnes
17:15Leeds vs Catalan Dragons

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