Sam Lisone snatches late win for Leeds Rhinos in opening Super League game


Leeds Rhinos left it late to beat Salford Red Devils 22-16 in their opening Super League fixture of the season.

A 70th-minute try from cult hero Sam Lisone snatched the win for Rohan Smith’s side, but an inspired brace from birthday boy Ash Handley and five goals from Rhyse Martin helped propel them to the win.

Salford dominated much of the opening exchanges, and this helped Marc Sneyd notch the first points off the tee.

Leeds came back firing though, and quickly pulled level. A high tackle from Ryan Brierley saw him sent for a 10-minute breather and gave Rhyse Martin the perfect chance to open his account for the year.

Despite being a man down, it was the Red Devils who scored the next points as Cade Cust scored his first in Salford colours. A wicked kick from Sneyd gave the visitors the ball just 5 meters out, and his grubber bounced perfectly for Cust to score under the sticks

Leeds had to weather a Salford storm after this, but a superb solo effort from Ash Handley helped pull the sides level again. The winger put the afterburners on to run almost the length of the pitch, running around former teammate Nene Macdonald in the process.

Salford regained the lead in the dying embers of the first half through Oli Partington. The Red Devils again gained valuable territory from the boot of Sneyd; and they made the most of this gift as Partington burrowed over from close range to give his side a deserved half-time lead.

Leeds came flying out of the traps in the second half, and Handley reaped the rewards to grab his second of the night.

A fantastic piece of skill from Lachie Miller got the Rhinos on the front foot, but it took a cheeky grubber kick from Martin to split the defence open and send the English winger over in the corner.

The Rhinos hammered the Salford line, but to no avail as the Red Devils stood tall. This defensive effort allowed the visitors claw their way back into the game and march into the Leeds 10m, and eventually put them back into the lead.

A high tackle from Paul Momirovski saw the new arrival sent to the bin, and Sneyd knocked over his forth goal of the night.

As was the case in the first half, the yellow card lit a fire under the Rhinos bellies and they hammered the Salford line. An intervention from Amir Bourouh saw him sent to the bin, and Martin added his forth goal of the night.

He wouldn’t have to wait long for his fifth either, as Sam Lisone charged in for a try. The powerful Tongan prop cut a fantastic line to put his side in front for the first time.

The home side had to whether a late storm of their own in the dying embers, as Salford piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser.

They nearly got it from a sweeping move down the right edge, however a crucial tackle from Man of the Match Handley killed the move in it’s tracks and ultimately helped keep the two points in Headingley.

Leeds Rhinos: 22

Tries: Handley (2), Lisone

Goals: Martin (5/5)

Salford Red Devils: 16

Tries: Cust, Partington

Goals: Sneyd (4/4)

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