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Summary

  1. St Helens 6-4 Leeds Rhinos
  2. Joel Moon scores try for Leeds
  3. Theo Fages responds for Saints
  4. Opening game of the Super League season
  5. Get involved #bbcrl

Live Reporting

By Matt Newsum

All times stated are UK

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What a start!

FT: St Helens 6-4 Leeds

St Helens celebrate against Leeds
SWPIX.COM

So, St Helens win the Super League season opener at the Totally Wicked Stadium, beating Leeds by just two points in a game of drama and tension.

You can read Phil Shepka's match report here.

The first-half was relentless, the second-half more packed with drama than quality but still much excitement, and a taste of things to come from Super League and rugby league in general throughout 2017.

You can follow it all on BBC Sport with live radio commentaries, the Super League Show and match reports, features, video and more from the BBC Sport website.

Thanks for joining us for this opening game, the tone has been set. It's going to be some season.

Good night.

More to come

FT: St Helens 6-4 Leeds

BBC Radio 5 live extra will have full commentary of Castleford v Leigh (20:00 GMT) tomorrow night, one of two Friday night games along with Widnes v Huddersfield (20:00).

Salford v Wigan (13:15 GMT) and Catalans v Warrington (17:00 GMT) take place on Saturday, with Wakefield v Hull (15:00 GMT) finishing round one off on Sunday.

FT: St Helens 6-4 Leeds

St Helens head coach Keiron Cunningham speaking to Sky Sports:

"It was a classic, we didn't do ourselves justice in first-half, but when we went set for set we dominated them.

"We had a chat at half-time and the boys came out strong, put things right, hard fought and ground out victory.

"Our skill wasn't right on the money but we hung in there for each other."

FT: St Helens 6-4 Leeds

St Helens half-back Theo Fages speaking to Sky Sports:

"I'm really proud of the boys today.

"It's been a long preseason, and the first home game we wanted to play well, and I thought we did.

"Our defence was strong in the first half, it was 6-4, without many tries but it was good from both teams. Our defence won us the game"

Full time

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

How fitting that France half-back Theo Fages won this game for St Helens because he was omnipresent. He tackled, he kicked, he prompted, he probed and he created. The pressure was on with an inexperienced partner in Danny Richardson but he stood up and took the mantle.

Saints showed character to come back from Joel Moon's try to win it, with a huge defensive display.

Leeds Rhinos battled hard and were so close on occasion, notably when Liam Sutcliffe was denied close in. But for the second year running, they have lost the opener.

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Ryan Hall runs out into touch, tries to shuffle the ball infield but he's out and St Helens I think have done enough.

Leeds will lose this by narrow margins. But lose it they will.

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Leeds get to tackle five and work the ball all across the line trying to find a gap but Saints stay with them throughout.

Play eventually shut down. Saints have a two points lead and two minutes to go...

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Luke Thompson has dropped the ball and Leeds have a chink of light, a glimmer of hope. Scrum on half-way. Rhinos need something special from this set.

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Jordan Baldwinson has already been involved in a humdinger this season with Featherstone against Halifax last week, and he's entered the fray here.

Leeds coughed the ball up within 20 metres of the St Helens line. We're inside the final five minutes.

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Amusing to watch Ryan Hall teasing the ball out like a half-back before straightening up and kicking ahead. Channelling his inner-Johnathan Thurston.

Does pose a question about Leeds' creativity though, if a winger is running the last tackle option.

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Alex Walmsley is playing like a man possessed. He's taking carry after carry. Leeds just about cope though and their outside backs are taking the game to the home team.

Tense final eight minutes.

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Leeds denied by a forward pass in the build up, Stevie Ward's pass to Liam Sutcliffe went ahead of the play.

Sutcliffe fizzed forward and chipped over the top but it was brought back. No go. Back for a Saints scrum.

St Helens
Rex Features

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Ashton Golding passes another kicking test as Saints pepper him with a raking ball through, off the boot of Jon Wilkin.

Adam Swift took his name to extremes with a thunderous chase but Golding gathered and found the turf in the field of play.

Leeds currently camped in their half though.

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Really smart play by Joel Moon, popping a grubber through to turn Saints round, who force a drop out.

Rob Burrow was teasing his way out to the left for Leeds, popped to Moon and he has got some reward.

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Brilliant tackle by Ash Golding on Tommy Makinson stops the winger from cutting Leeds to ribbons.

Saints then go wide to Adam Swift but he can't draw the ball in.

Blast of class to wake us, it was just starting to get a little ragged there.

Golding
Rex Features

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

I went for Leeds by two in the tipping. On course to start the season on a downer, as usual.

One thing I didn't account for was Saints coping really well without Matty Smith.

Daniel Richardson looks smart and composed despite his relative inexperience. Players can sink or swim in these situations and he's swimming nicely.

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Richardson
Rex Features

Almost up to the hour and this game is still in the balance, still open, still could go any way.

That is just what the Rugby Football League, fans, broadcasters and players want. Competitive games.

Final quarter - what have you got for us??

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Jimmy Keinhorst is on, moving off the mark perhaps with his first touch there having come on.

Phil Bentham pulled a Saints player a moment ago and had to remain consistent.

Sloppy from Leeds, a few metres from the Saints line.

Phil Bentham
Rex Features

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Greenwood looks OK, which is a boost. Leeds going back to basics now, with some simple drives looking for field position.

Saints do seem to have the game by the scruff of its neck at present.

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Leeds being made to graft hard in this second-half. Pretty much all Saints.

Some smart work by Ashton Golding helps them out of danger deep in Rhinos territory.

It's setting the standard for rugby league in 2017 so far this fixture. And it's only game one!

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

It's been bruising and it is a shame to see Joe Greenwood limping around. He's another player with England claims. Terrific back-rower with an eye for a try.

Jonny Lomax went off in the first half for a concussion assessment. To lose Greenwood as well would be a crushing blow to Keiron Cunningham.

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

TRYSAVER FROM TOMMY MAKINSON.

Brilliant pace from Kallum Watkins who is gazelle-like in his poise and balance and then fed Liam Sutcliffe who looked odds-on to score. Makinson came across though, old fashioned around the legs and into touch. Brilliant, brilliant play.

How good it is to see an England-class player fit and well again.

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Scoreboard turned on its head, in the blink of an eye.

Really good start to the second-half by Saints, who seem to have been sparked into life.

Leeds always a danger with their terrific backline. Last tackle play came to nothing there though.

St Helens
Rex Features

'Single-decker bus'

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Brian Noble

Ex-Great Britain coach on BBC Radio 5 live

"Theo Fages backed himself. He created a number and decided to show some speed and get over the line. 

"He said 'I'm not a double-decker bus like Alex Walmsley, I'm a single-decker but I'm still going to get there'."

TRY (Fages, con Percival)

St Helens 6-4 Leeds

Superb move by St Helens, fixing up defenders, sliding across the field and then sliding through the gap with French half-back Theo Fages, who squeezes across the line beautifully.

Third time lucky for Saints. Fine try. Mark Percival does the business from the tee.

NO TRY

St Helens 0-4 Leeds

Second time tonight at least that St Helens have been denied by the video referee.

Alex Walmsley held up by defence after video referee decision... however Saints did force a drop out and got another six.

St Helens 0-4 Leeds

First set earned Saints a penalty, and they in turn won themselves some field position.

Inside the 10 in three tackles. James Roby held up...

Try?

Kick-off

St Helens 0-4 Leeds

Great opening 40. Let's have more.

Leeds to kick us off and Saints will bring it forward from their own end.

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Watch: Super League Show preview

St Helens and Leeds have got the Super League season underway here tonight, but across the next couple of days all 12 teams will have taken to the field.

The BBC Super League Show has previewed the runners and riders on the eve of the new campaign, why not give it a watch to get a feel for how the teams have prepared over the winter.

Super League Show returns for the first episode of the new season at 23:30 GMT on Monday, 13 February - BBC One in the north of England, repeated nationwide on BBC Two on Tuesday lunchtime.

Challenge Cup live on the BBC

St Pats through to second round

Following the popularity of Wigan St Pats' victory against Leigh Miners Rangers in BBC Sport's Challenge Cup first round broadcast, Pilkington Recs against Siddal has been chosen from the round two ties.

You can watch it live on the BBC Sport website on Saturday, 11 February, from 14:15 GMT.

HT: St Helens 0-4 Leeds

Phew. Get a brew, bottle of pop or something stronger. You've earned it.

Breathless stuff.

This of course is just the start of a year of rugby league delights. We've not even finished the canapes yet.

HT: St Helens 0-4 Leeds

Iestyn Harris

Former Great Britain and Wales international on BBC Radio 5 live

Joel Moon
Rex Features

"Leeds have that belief in their own goalline defence. They have that willingness to scramble for each other and stop tries. What brings that is confidence. 

"Then some of the skills we've seen from Leeds Rhinos in the first half have been spectacular."

Half-time

St Helens 0-4 Leeds

Wow. Kallum Watkins knocked on in contact as Leeds pushed right at the end and Saints ran down the final seconds to bring us to half-time.

Four months since Super League last graced our grounds and our screens and St Helens and Leeds have conjured up another gem.

Joel Moon's try is the difference but there's been some intense defence, tenacious attack and skill.

Great game. Most enjoyable return to action. 

St Helens 0-4 Leeds

Huge break by Matt Parcell is cut down desperately by St Helens. Penalty follows...

Leeds want a second try before the break...

NO TRY

St Helens 0-4 Leeds

Tommy Makinson has been held up by some huge defensive effort by Leeds. Ashton Golding gets his body in a great position to block the grounding, and Kallum Watkins also bowls in with his contribution.

Disappointment for the home side, but the video referee has made his call. No try.

St Helens 0-4 Leeds

Very good play by Mark Percival there. Clipped in a really tempting kick in behind and as Leeds scurried back, full-back Ashton Golding hacked it clear for the visitors. Phew!

Meanwhile, Jonny Lomax has gone off for a concussion assessment. Copped Stevie Ward's head in a tackle, accidentally, and it's left its mark.

Still Saints press!

St Helens 0-4 Leeds

First grubber of the game there from James Roby! Well fielded by Ashton Golding but it gave Saints chance to close him down on his own line.

Big defensive set from Saints but the clearing kick by Leeds is awesome. Booming.

St Helens 0-4 Leeds

Jonny Lomax looked a bit wobbly at the play-the-ball for St Helens. James Roby already showing his class in upping the tempo around the ruck after coming off the bench.

Matt Parcell has been really good too on the other side. The hookers in modern day rugby league have to have everything.

St Helens
Rex Features

St Helens 0-4 Leeds

Penalties are really pinging Saints at the moment. Under the cosh again. Leeds' sledgehammer approach sets up the platform but Saints pick a move up on the edges to stop it.

Great poaching by St Helens half-back Theo Fages. 10 to go to the break.