|St Helens (6) 22
|Tries: Makinson 2, Lomax, Batchelor Objectives: Percival 3
|Leigh (6) 12
|Tries: Gildart, Mulhern Objectives: Reynolds 2
St Helens stored tempo with Tremendous League leaders Catalans Dragons because of a hard-fought win over Leigh Leopards.
Leigh edged forward after 9 minutes when Saints failed to choose up Oliver Gildart who touched down with ease.
Tommy Makinson hit again both aspect of the break for the hosts with Jonny Lomax giving them a 10-point cushion.
Robbie Mulhern labored on to Edwin Ipape’s offload to arrange a tense finale however Joe Batchelor wrapped up the win for Saints within the closing levels.
The win for St Helens means they’re degree on factors with Les Dracs – with Wigan two factors behind in an exciting chase to this season’s League Leaders’ Protect – with two common season video games remaining.
Leigh, in the meantime, stay in fourth however their hopes of a Problem Cup and League Leaders’ Protect double ended with the defeat.
St Helens levelled simply earlier than the halfway level of the primary half and it got here as a string of passes from Lomax and Batchelor stretched Leigh’s defence, with Makinson crossing over for his twenty first strive of the season.
Leigh produced some beautiful defence to maintain Saints at bay in a frantic finish to the second half, with Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook thwarted in his efforts to race to the road because the half-time hooter sounded.
Leigh had threatened after the restart when Zak Hardaker dived to the road however was held quick, and Makinson made them pay when he touched down for an additional strive 10 minutes into the second half.
The sport flipped into Saints’ favour when Lomax pulled off a sensational dummy to wrongfoot the Leigh defence and race in to attain.
There was late drama to come back, nevertheless, as Mulhern’s rating pulled Leigh again into the sport and the guests thought that they had stolen victory late on when Joe Mellor raced over, inflicting raucous celebrations from Leopards proprietor Derek Beaumont who was watching on at a sweltering Completely Depraved Stadium.
Nevertheless, referee Chris Kendall consulted with video referee Marcus Griffiths and the strive was chalked off for offside within the build-up, and St Helens then added salt to Leigh’s wounds as Batchelor crossed swiftly after the hosts gained again possession from a careless knock-on.
St Helens head coach Paul Wellens informed BBC Radio Merseyside:
“It was clearly an necessary sport for us that we would have liked to win however I feel it was a sport with nice depth.
“Once we consider what lies forward when it comes to play-off video games, the kinds of challenges we’ll face, that was a pleasant blueprint.
“I assumed Leigh had been glorious in the best way they got here and performed dedicated, energetic and labored arduous for one another and made it actually troublesome for us, as we did for them, and that is what made it such sport.
Leigh Leopards boss Adrian Lam informed BBC Radio Manchester:
“I liked each second of the sport. I assumed it was completely sensible. I liked our vitality however we did not get our rugby collectively. The way in which they turned up for one another was excellent.
“It was as we thought it will be. They are a bodily crew they usually can bully you if you aren’t getting the primary half proper. I assumed we bought bashed and we bashed them.
“It was a semi-final-feeling sport with the depth and it was very bodily and I liked each little bit of it.”
St Helens: Welsby; Makinson, Percival, Davies, Bennison; Lomax, Dodd; Lees, Roby, Knowles, Mata’utia, Batchelor, Bell.
Interchanges: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Royle, Delaney, Mbye.
Leigh: O’Brien; Briscoe, Chamberlain, Hardaker, Gildart; Reynolds, Lam; Amone, Ipape, Mulhern, O’Donnell, Hughes, Davis.
Interchanges: Mellor, Halton, Nakubuwai, Wardle.
Referee: Chris Kendall.