Leeds 16-30 St Helens

Two tries from Jamie Foster helped St Helens to a 30-16 win over Leeds in an enthralling encounter.

Youngsters Jonny Lomax and Lee Gaskell performed strongly in the halves for Saints while Leeds will rue their inability to convert a number of chances.

Foster, making his first start of the season, proved the difference between the two sides as he ended the match with 18 points.

After a tight opening 20 minutes it was St Helens who struck first with Foster claiming his first of the evening on 21 minutes.

Leeds responded with a try of their own after 35 minutes when Keith Senior set up Ryan Hall for his sixth try of the season.

The hosts started the second half strongly and took the lead on 45 minutes through debutant Zak Hardaker. However the former Featherstone winger had a helping hand from the touch judge who inexplicably missed a blatant forward pass from Kallum Watkins

Saints hit back with a try from Michael Shenton five minutes later and Foster’s conversion put the visitors 12-10 in front.

However Paul McShane, another youngster to impress on the night, barged his way over the line from close range on 56 minutes to restore the Rhinos lead.

Both sides were eager to keep the ball alive but it was St Helens who were to prove the more clinical.

Francis Meli powered his way over for a try on 63 minutes before Paul Wellens exploited a gap in the Rhinos defence to open his account for the season four minutes later.

St Helens defended superbly throughout and they secured the win on 77 minutes in spectacular fashion. Meli offloaded to Foster who spun the ball around his body before touching down in the corner for a fantastic try.

The visitors will be encouraged by the mature showings of Gaskell and Lomax. The performance of the latter suggesting that Saints coach Royce Simmons will not have to search too far for Eastmond’s replacement.

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