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Saints trail 12-6 at half time
SAINTS trail Leeds 12-6 in the fifth round Challenge Cup tie at Headingley.
The Rhinos have dominated field position in the first 40, but Saints did well to hang in there at times and can count themselves unlucky to have conceded the two tries.
Both came from debateable calls from referee Richard Silverwod which handed the Rhinos prime attacking plays that they exploited ruthlessly.
Leeds wee handed a great crack at the line when Kevin Sinfield drilled the ball downfield with the referee ruling the ball had made contact with the charger Josh Jones before going dead.
The play from the drop out saw Leeds press the line with Zak Hardaker holding off Jonny Lomax and Mark Percival to touch down. Sinfield goaled.
Saints responded when the fit again centre Mark Percival was put through a hole on the left, he dashed through, drew the last man before putting Adam Swift in at the corner, riding Watkins’ tackle well to ground it.
Walsh kicked it off the touchline to level matters, but Leeds then began to dominate territory.
On 18 minutes the Rhinos claimed another try when Danny McGuire picked the ball up from the injured Walsh loses ball but the video ref ruled no try.
Saints were having to do a lot of defending, with Leeds – with Jamie Peacock again immense and Rob Burrow causing problems - forcing more drop outs and generally getting the rub of the green.
Saints looked like they had withstood that until five minutes from time Tommy Makinson pushed the ball out of tackle, it hit a Leeds leg and Swift picked up. Alas, the referee gave a scrum to Leeds, and from there the Rhinos threw it about. Out it went to Ryan Hall, who cut inside, offloaded to Hardaker, who brushed off Josh Jones en route to the try line. Sinfield goaled to give Leeds a six point advantage at the break.
Leeds: Hardaker; Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall; Sinfield, McGuire; Leuluai, Burrow, Peacock, Achurch, Delaney. Subs: Kirke, Sutcliffe, Singleton, Clarkson.
Saints: Lomax; Makinson, Turner, Percival, Swift; Wilkin, Walsh; Amor, Roby, Walmsley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Jones. Subs: Wellens, Masoe, Greenwood, Richards.