SAINTS scrum half Matty Smith had to go to hospital after getting his eye-lid ripped open during the defeat by Leeds.

The experienced half back left the field in the in the sixth minute after an accidental clash with skipper Jon Wilkin as the pair completed a tackle.

The injury had a huge disruptive effect on the team and was one of the reasons why Saints fell to defeat against a depleted Leeds side.

Coach Justin Holbrook said: "He is our main organiser and it made it harder on us for sure.

“To nearly get away with it would have been huge.

“Matty is in a bad way. It wasn’t just a cut, he got his eyelid ripped open. Hopefully, he will be alright. We couldn’t stitch it so he had to go to hospital.

"Hopefully it isn’t damaged but it is a lot worse than a cut.

“I speak for everyone involved in the club in hoping he is ok.”

Holbrook pointed to the sin-binning of Wilkin in the last quarter of the game as another key point in turning the game away from them.

Saints lost 24-22 to leave them with a mountain to climb to secure fourth place by the year's end.

He added: “I thought the sin-binning was massive and I thought it was harsh too.

"But to not have it go all your own way, lose a half back, have a man in the sin-bin, have a lopsided penalty count and nearly win a game against quality opposition on their home ground shows the players love playing for each other.

“I was just as proud of the boys tonight as I was last week – we didn’t get two points but for the game to go the way it did showed some character.

“You can’t take anything away from Leeds – they haven’t been happy with how they have been playing and rectified some of that tonight.

"They had us under pressure for a lot of the game so to nearly be able to win certainly isn’t an issue of how we performed away from home tonight.

“We know we need to string some wins together, we understand that, but as I said I was just as proud tonight as I was last week.

“But we didn’t get the two points and that hurt us.”