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A night to remember for Saints and their young guns at Langtree Park
Saints 14 Leeds 10. When a legend like Keiron Cunningham hails it as one of the best wins he can recall you know it must be something special. It was.
A Saints side missing nine of the players that trounced Warrington at the start of the season was given little chance, on paper, against the league's only other unbeaten side Leeds.
But with a liberal smattering of of young guns in the pack, emboldened by the regular shifts of heavyweight Mose Masoe and the experienced Anthony Laffranchi Saints produced a real backs to the wall effort.
Defensively Saints were solid, soaking up so much pressure on their own line after Kevin Sinfield had turned the screw by forcing repeat sets.
But the line held firm apart from one breach polished off by Danny McGuire for the game's opener.
Saints' riposte was a simple well worked play with James Roby picking out Anthony Walker, who cruised over, with Tommy Makinson making it 6-6.
That is how it stayed at the break and the home crowd - Saints' 18th man- rose from their seats to give the team a standing ovation.
Saints already had a moral victory in the bag, but this team, bursting with belief, wanted something more than that.
In the most absorbing 40 minutes Langtree Park has witnessed Saints fell behind to a Sinfield penalty, but bounced back with a top drawer try after having one chalked off for an incident in back play.
Skipper Paul Wellens, who had produced a real captain's knock, strode through with a tackle busting run on the left before releasing the runaway Makinson.
He finished off with his now trademark one-handed style to hand the momentum back to Saints.
But when Saints were penalised again, with Sinfield obliging to level, all of a sudden we were in drop goal territory.
It was, on the face of it a similar situation as last year's play-off game which they lost by a point.
And Sinfield had the first stab at breaking the deadlock with a drop attempt that went wide with five to play.
But with the crowd roaring, back Saints came.
Kiwi World Cup winner Lance Hohaia, in his best game in the red vee, was the architect for one last Saints raid. A chip over from the diminutive Kiwi was collected by Jonny Lomax who in turn kicked across into the space in front of Makinson.
Cool as a cucumber, Makinson hovered over the ball before picking up and grounding to see the roof come off.
It was a fitting finale to the best game this ground has witnessed to date to keep Saints on top of the pile, two points clear, and, despite the injury list and suspension sends them into next Sunday's cup tie with a real bounce.
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