Leeds Rhinos held onto a tight 24-22 victory over St Helens to move up to second in the Betfred Super League table.
St Helens winger Adam Swift and Leeds half-back Joel Moon traded tries in a tense first half, where the boot of Jordan Lilley ensured that the hosts led 6-4 at the break.
Second-row Stevie Ward crashed over from close range after getting on Lilley's offload to nudge the Rhinos further ahead, but two tries in five minutes regained the lead for Saints with Tommy Makinson and James Roby crossing the whitewash, with the former converting both to put the visitors 16-12 up.
Kallum Watkins hit back to put Leeds back infront with Ryan Hall also forcing his way over the tryline to increase their lead while Jon Wilkin was in the sin-bin for Saints. Lilley added the extras to put the hosts 24-16 ahead.
Alex Walmsley barged over with two minutes remaining, which Makinson converted, to make it a two-point game but Saints could not repeat their late heroics against Salford Red Devils last week as they sit five points off the top four.
The Rhinos have won! A great contest between two tough teams but Leeds move up to 2nd in the table tonight pic.twitter.com/DXJgJlfeO9— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) June 29, 2017
The 2015 Super League champions were hugely indebted to young guns Jack Walker and Lilley in helping them overcome the absence of seven senior players through injury and suspension, something head coach Brian McDermott acknowledged.
"He was good," McDermott said of Walker. "He took some challenging high balls and looks okay with the ball in his hands.
"It was a big game for him and his development will be better for it.
"We've had to overcome a little bit of adversity with bans and injuries but overall I'm very pleased. We were really challenged by a determined Saints.
Great game from the young fella @JackWakka1 👏🏻— Zak Hardaker (@zakhardaker1) June 29, 2017
"We got put on the back foot a couple of times, we needed to have some fight about us."
Saints head coach Justin Holbrook hailed his side's performance despite defeat, which was compounded by the loss of half-back Matty Smith to a serious eye injury just six minutes into the match after catching a stray arm from captain Wilkin.
"I'm just as proud of the boys as I was last week when we got the win," Holbrook said.
"It was really crucial to lose your half-back for pretty much the whole game. Obviously he's our main organiser so it made it hard on us and, to nearly get away with that without your half would have been huge.
Good way to bounce back after a loss last week. Did it the hard way but a wins a win against a tough saints team! 🦏👍#MOT— Keith Galloway (@kgalloway85) June 29, 2017
"I think the sin-binning was harsh and it was massive. It makes it hard, that's for sure, when you are playing a man short for 10 minutes.
"But it shows the players are loving playing for each other. We just need to string some wins together.
"Full credit goes to Leeds, they had us under pressure a lot of that game, they are quality side."