St Helens have started the 2017 Super League campaign with a win over Leeds, pipping the Rhinos 6-4 in a close match at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
The Rhinos took the lead in the first half through a try to Joel Moon. The centre muscled over the line to put his team front.
Saints clawed back with a four-pointer to Theo Fages and a conversion from Mark Percival just after the break.
Leeds threatened St Helens line late but the Red V held out. Tommy Makinson pulled out an outstanding tackle to stop Liam Sutcliffe from scoring a try.
The Rhinos kept going from field position instead of penalty goals but could not break through St Helens’ wall. The visitors missed the attacking nous of captain Danny McGuire who was ruled out before kick-off with a calf strain.
Saints, already without Matty Smith through injury, lost Jonny Lomax with concussion in the first half.
But with Danny Richardson on debut in place of Smith, the home side finished as winners on the back of a strong kicking game from the rookie and Theo Fages.
Both sides were largely well-contained in a contest dominated by defence.