AS we look forward to Friday’s Challenge Cup clash between Saints and Leeds Rhinos, we recall a classic match between the sides at Headingley and the second round encounter on 27 February, 1983.

St Helens Star:

Leeds fancied their chances, going into the match with the notable scalp of an away win at the then Cup Kings Widnes tucked into their belts.

Saints, on the other hand, had progressed by beating a patched-up Carlisle side for whom Alan Agar ended up taking a spot on the bench despite having already joined Featherstone as coach.

Carlisle has retained the playing registration of Alan and so was able to fill the gap.

But what contributed to making the Leeds game so exciting was the first round defeats of Wigan (by Castleford) and Hull KR (by Hunslet) – which combined with Widnes’ exit opened up the potential route to Wembley….or so we thought.

St Helens Star:

As it was, it was a game that had plenty – a Chris Arkwright sin-binning for a late tackle on Leeds playmaker John Holmes, two Roy Haggerty tries and a mass brawl beneath the posts.

St Helens Star:

The final score was a 23-13 win for Billy Benyon’s men and there was a real bounce in the town.

Saints had taken 11 supporters buses – 10 more than usual….and Oh When the Saints rang out from the red and white pockets of the ground

Alas, thoughts of Wembley were dashed in the next round with a shock 11-10 defeat by eventual cup winner Featherstone Rovers coached by Alan Agar.