Super League: Leeds Rhinos 12-13 St Helens
|LEEDS (12) 12|
|Tries: Sutcliffe Goals: Sinfield 4|
|ST HELENS (2) 13|
|Tries: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Roby|
|Goals: Percival, Makinson Drop-Goal: Hohaia|
St Helens came from behind as they beat Challenge Cup winners Leeds to move within a point of claiming the Super League Leaders' Shield.
Leeds were down to 12 men after Joel Moon's 20th-minute red card for a high shoulder challenge on Mark Percival.
They led 12-2 at the break thanks to Liam Sutcliffe's try and four kicks from the relentless Kevin Sinfield.
But Saints hit back with tries from Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and James Roby, before Lance Hohaia's drop goal.
Percival also kicked a first-half penalty before being led off with concussion, taking no further part in the match, following the illegal challenge by Moon, who was sent off by referee Richard Silverwood.
But, after a missed attempt to convert the powerful McCarthy-Scarsbrook's try on 63 minutes, Makinson was successful in adding the extras when Roby squeezed in under the posts seven minutes later.
|Super League top try scorers|
|24 -Tommy Makinson (St Helens), Joel Monaghan (Warrington)|
|21 - Morgan Escare (Catalan Dragons)|
|19 - Jermaine McGillvary (Huddersfield)|
|17 - Justin Carney (Castleford), Josh Charnley (Wigan), Michael Oldfield (Catalan Dragons), Joe Wardle (Huddersfield), Elliott Whitehead (Catalan Dragons)|
|16 - Rhys Evans (Warrington), Michael Shenton (Castleford)|
|15 -Ryan Hall (Leeds),Rhys Hanbury (Widnes), Jamie Shaul (Hull)|
|14 -Joe Burgess (Wigan), Omari Caro (Hull KR), Luke Dorn (Castleford), Paddy Flynn (Widnes), Dom Manfredi (Wigan)|
Castleford are the only team who can stop St Helens finishing top, but they have to win all their final three games and hope that Saints lose both of theirs.
The Rhinos, who ended their 15-year wait for a Wembley Cup win against Castleford last weekend, are now in the not unfamiliar ground of not being certain of a top-four finish.
But, Nathan Brown's Saints, who also won the reverse fixture with a late Makinson try at Langtree Park in March, are almost there as they edge closer to the club's first silverware since 2008.
Brown said that, due to the concussion rule, Percival will now be forced to sit out next Thursday's game against Warrington at Langtree Park, where Saints can clinch the shield.
Leeds coach Brian McDermott was unhappy with the decision that led to his side playing with 12 men for an hour - but TV replays suggested that Mr Silverwood had got it right.
Leeds coach Brian McDermott:
"I only saw it a couple of times in the throes of the game, so I'm not 100 per cent sure.
"But it didn't look like he made contact with the head and, if he hasn't, then it's a big call, a wrong call in my opinion.
"Ultimately, it was the difference between the two teams. We used up that much juice defending.
"It has to be said we made a couple of errors, but how much can you ask of a group of 12 men in a game as intense as that? Credit to St Helens, though, they got the job done."
St Helens coach Nathan Brown:
"Leeds are never dead. They fought hard with 12 men and got away to a nice lead on the back of a great kicking game and great control from Kevin Sinfield.
"I'm really proud that we were able to hang in there. We had a lot of defensive work to do and I thought our edges did a super job in handling Ryan Hall, Zak Hardaker and Kallum Watkins.
"Obviously we'd love to finish first, but regardless of where we finish, after what we've been through this year, I don't think any of the fans could be disappointed with what the players have given them.
"I didn't get a real good look at the red card. But Joel Moon is not a dirty player. If he got off with a warning, I wouldn't be disappointed. And Percy is going to be okay, that's the key."
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker; Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall; Sinfield, Sutcliffe; Bailey, Aiton, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Delaney.
Replacements: Leuluai, R Ward, Achurch, Singleton.
Sent off: Moon (20).
St Helens: McDonnell; Makinson, Percival, Jones, Dawson; Hohaia, Wellens; Amor, Roby, Walmsley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Laffranchi, Turner.
Replacements: Masoe, Soliola, Manu, Flanagan.
Referee: Richard Silverwood (West Yorkshire).