St Helens maintained their winning start to the season as they won 22-12 at Super League newcomers Leigh.
Kristian Woolf’s men have now won their first six games of the campaign in all competitions, while Super League new boys Leigh have yet to a register a win.
It took 19 minutes for the first try to be scored with Saints back-rower Sione Mata’utia barging his way over from close range.
Saints were dealt a blow though when half-back Theo Fages was sin-binned on the half hour mark. Leigh then took advantage of having the extra man on the pitch and shipped the ball out wide to Matty Russell who dove over in the corner. A touchline conversion from Ben Reynolds saw the score tied at 6-6 at the break.
The reigning champions came out firing in the second half as Lachlan Coote touched down in the 42nd minute, with the Scotland international converting his own try.
Jack Welsby, who this week was selected in the England Knights squad, then stretched Saints’ lead to 18-6.
John Duffy’s side fought their way back into the game though and pulled one back thanks to new arrival Anthony Gelling, who was playing on the wing due to injuries to Lewis Tierney, Keanan Brand and Craig Mullen.
Fiji international Kevin Naiqama crossed for St Helens on the hour mark to put his side into a 22-12 lead heading into the final quarter.
There was a stoppage towards the end of the match as St Helens back-rower James Bentley went down following a challenge and was stretchered off the field. Saints saw the game out and finished 22-12 winners at the Leigh Sports Village.
Leigh: Brierley; Russell, Thornley, Gelling, Sa’u; Reynolds, Wildie; Flower, Peats, Mason, Hellewell, Thompson, McCarthy. Subs: Hood, Bell, Peteru, Gerrard.
Tries: Russell, Gelling Goals: Reynolds 2
St Helens: Coote; Naiqama, Welsby, Percival, Grace; Lomax, Fages; Walmsley, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Mata’utia, Bentley, Wingfield. Subs: Amor, Paasi, Batchelor, Dodd.
Tries: Mata’utia, Coote, Welsby, Naiqama Goals: Coote 3