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Last Updated: Friday, 24 February 2006, 21:46 GMT
St Helens 13-4 Leeds
St Helens players celebrate scoring against Leeds
St Helens (6) 13
Tries: Gilmour, Meli
Goals: Lyon 2
Drop: Long
Leeds (4) 4
Try: Williams
St Helens maintained their unbeaten start to the new Super League season by securing a hard-fought victory over Leeds at Knowsley Road.

The Rhinos started the better side and winger Danny Williams marked his debut with a try on 24 minutes.

But Saints fought their way back and Lee Gilmour crossed just before the break to put the home side ahead.

St Helens increased their lead with a Jamie Lyon goal and a Francis Meli try while Sean Long added a drop goal.

There was some bad news for Leeds before kick-off, with Great Britain second rower Gareth Ellis pulling out of the game with a knee injury.

He will undergo minor surgery next week but is only expected to be out for two weeks.

Leeds started well and thought they had taken the lead on 10 minutes when Williams touched down from a Kevin Sinfield kick only for the try to be ruled out for offside.

Both sides struggled to create chances as defences dominated but 19-year-old Williams finally broke the deadlock when he touched down from a Richie Mathers kick.

Saints started to impose themselves and got a deserved try just before the break when Gilmour took a neat pass from prop Paul Anderson to crash over.

The second half was as tense as the first, with both teams guilty of a host of handling errors.

Lyon added his second goal on 50 minutes when Shane Millard was harshly pulled up for interference at the play-the-ball.

Meli then crashed over near the corner after taking Leon Pryce's long pass before Long added a drop goal.

  • St Helens coach Daniel Anderson
    "I think Leon Pryce enjoys playing behind our pack of forwards and with Sean Long and Keiron Cunningham.

    "I also thought defensively he had a very good game. I would suggest he hasn't played that close to the ruck for 80 minutes for a long time.

    "A game like that does take it out of you but he was still testing the line in the 78th minute.

    "The game was fairly physical and fairly brutal. There was a lot of errors but that was due to pressure."

  • Leeds coach Tony Smith:
    "I'm disappointed not to have won but I'm not disappointed with a lot of other things. We needed to ask a few more questions.

    "It was a tight game for both teams. I think both teams should be proud of their defence."

    St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Lyon, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, P Anderson, Cunningham, Cayless, Gilmour, Sculthorpe, Hooper.
    Replacements: Roby, Wilkin, Graham, Fa'asavalu.

    Leeds: Mathers, Donald, Walker, Senior, Williams, McGuire, Burrow, Bailey, Diskin, Peacock, Lauitiiti, Jones-Buchanan, Sinfield.
    Replacements: Millard, Poching, Feather, Scruton.

    Referee: A Klein (London)

    St Helens 44-8 Castleford
    17 Feb 06 |  Super League
    Wigan 16-24 Leeds
    17 Feb 06 |  Super League

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