Sione Mata’utia sin-binned in St Helens clash with Leeds

Sione Mata'utia St Helens News Images Credit: Alamy
Sione Mata'utia St Helens News Images Credit: Alamy

St Helens forward Sione Mata’utia was shown a yellow card for a late hit on Leeds half-back Aidan Sezer in the Round Three Super League clash.

Former Samoa international Mata’utia was deemed to have hit Sezer late in the tackle, which left the Rhinos playmaker having to lead the field for a head injury assessment in the opening 10 minutes.

Leeds made the most of having the extra man on the field as they passed it wide to Nene Macdonald who raced down the right flank to set up Ash Handley for a try, which was converted by Rhyse Martin.

But St Helens responded in quick fashion, with Joey Lussick scoring from a trademark scoot from dummy half. Tommy Makinson converted to level the score at 6-6.

The world champions took lead the midway through the first half thanks to a bit of magic footwork from Lewis Dodd. Makinson’s conversion made the score 12-6.

The score was tied once more when Martin converted his own try in the 24th minute.

An error from Derrell Olpherts on his own try-line saw Dodd scoop his second of the game, with Makinson’s boot making the score 18-12 to the hosts at the break.

Mark Percival extended Saints’ lead early in the second half as he cottoned on to a grubber from Jack Welsby to score. Makinson converted to put the home side 24-12 ahead.

Leeds were dealt a blow in the 54th minute when hooker Kruise Leeming had to be helped off the field with what looked like an ankle injury.

Tempers flared on the hour after Saints forward Curtis Sironen was sin-binned for a late shot on Leeds full-back Richie Myler.

And the Rhinos scored in the following set as Cameron Smith bulldozed his way over from close. Martin converted and Rohan Smith’s side were only 24-18 behind.

Martin came up with a clutch with 10 minutes remaining as he muscled his way through the Saints defence to bring his side right back into the contest. The Papua New Guinea international converted his effort to level the score at 24-all.

St Helens went down to 12-man in the dying embers as Konrad Hurrell was sent off for a late and high hit on Myler.

And with seconds left on the clock, Leeds half-back Blake Austin slotted a one-pointer so snatch a 25-24 win for his side.

St Helens: Welsby; Makinson, Hurrell, Percival, Bennison; Lomax, Dodd; Walmsley, Lussick, Lees, Mata’utia, Sironen, Knowles. Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Wingfield, Bell, Royle.

Tries: Lussick, Dodd (2), Percival Goals: Makinson 4

Leeds: Myler; Fusitu’a, Macdonald, Handley, Olpherts; Austin, Sezer; Holroyd, O’Connor, Tetevano, McDonnell, Martin, Smith. Subs: Leeming, Walters, Donaldson, Sangare.

Tries: Handley, Martin (2), Smith Goals: Martin 4 Drop Goals: Austin 1

VERDICT: Eight-point try double for Warrington explained

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