Super League champions St Helens have come through a tough examination at in-form Hull FC, winning 17-10 at the KC Stadium.
Kieron Cunningham’s men were never in complete control by the Humber until a last-minute drop goal gave them a two-score lead and, had Hull not been careless in possession at crucial times, could have headed home pointless.
But as it was they got the win, thanks largely to a brilliant eye-of-the-needle finish from winger Tommy Makinson by the corner flag with 17 minutes left.
Hull had been chasing a seventh win in eight – a record dating back to and including an Easter Monday win at Saints – but in the end some resolute defence allied with some careless attacking hamstrung them.
Meanwhile, Kevin Sinfield scored 16 points in the Leeds’ 36-16 win over Hull KR to become the third-highest scorer in the history of English rugby league.
The former England skipper kicked six goals and scored one of the Rhinos’ six tries to take his points tally to 4,062 on the 550th appearance of his career to climb above Gus Risman in the all-time list and now only Jim Sullivan and Neil Fox are in front of him.
Elsewhere, the returning Brad Dwyer boosted Warrington with a vital try in a 34-18 victory over Salford.
The Wolves were hanging onto a 22-18 lead when super sub Dwyer darted over from dummy half.