Saints suffered their first loss of the season as they went down 28-20 to Leeds Rhinos.
Ben Barba grabbed a brace in the defeat with Danny Richardson kicking four goals, but Ash Handley’s double proved to be the difference.
Both sides fashioned early chances before two penalties on the bounce allowed the visitors the chance to send Anthony Mullally twisting over from short range.
Saints had broken down the left hand side but when Zeb Taia was somewhat harshly caught for obstruction the Rhinos took full advantage.
It wasn’t long before the home side hit back though and it was thanks to Ben Barba.
After Jon Wilkin was unlucky with a chip and chase, Saints forced an error in midfield, sent the ball through hands and the fullback dummied through a gap.
Richardson levelling it up with the boot.
Barba went close on the left hand side shortly afterwards and then Tommy Makinson had one chalked off by the video referee.
But Saints hit the front with a Richardson penalty in the 28th minute.
The half back was then instrumental in an Adam Swift try that came right out of Saints Academy.
On the last, he kicked it high and got it back after Swift out-jumped Ryan Hall.
From there, the youngster ran down the right hand side, duly turned it back inside to Makinson who then offloaded to Swift.
Saints were on the up but as the half came to a close Richie Myler finished off an overlap to leave it all square the the break.
After a scrappy opening to the second half, Richardson tagged on a penalty in the 55th minute to give the hosts the lead for the second time, only for Kallum Watkins to return the favour three minutes later.
The visitors then took control.
A simple chip on the last was missed by the Saints defence and Ash Handley cleaned up.
Barba made an important tackle on 64 minutes and a minute later Jonny Lomax, Regan Grace and Mark Percival were all involved in stopping Watkins scoring a sure fire try.
But seconds later, a kick on the last took a deflection and Handley went in for his second.
Saints had a mountain to climb but they reduced the deficit with a piece of class.
Well inside his own half, with around eight minutes to go, Grace took off down the left hand side, beat two men and then turned it inside for Barba to step through and go under the posts.
It was a superb moment but Saints lost the ball on the return set and Matt Parcell scored from dummy half to seal the win.
Justin Holbrook gave his reaction to Saints 28-20 loss to Leeds.
“I am disappointed in the loss,” he said. “I thought we created enough chances in the first half and were unlucky at times. We got over the line a couple of times and Tommy Makinson was over but couldn’t put it down.
“In the second half Leeds took their chances and full credit to them. They are a tough team to play against and they showed it tonight.
“Too many guys didn’t play well enough and are understandably disappointed – and they should be. Some individuals didn’t perform the way they should and when you do that you get what you deserve.
“James Roby and Benny Barba were fantastic but too many others weren’t and that is why we didn’t win the game.
“They worked harder than us, were hungrier and beat us to the punch. That was disappointing.”
He continued: “We had some guys doing things that they don’t normally do. They decided to try some other things and do other people’s jobs and it got us in trouble.
“We’ll bounce back though and work hard to put things right.”
Tries: Barba (2), Swift
Goals: Richardson (4 from 5)
Tries: Mullally, Myler, Handley (2), Parcell
Goals: Watkins (3 from 4), Myler (1 from 2)
REF: J Child
23. Ben Barba; 5. Adam Swift, 2. Tommy Makinson, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 6. Theo Fages, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 20. Matty Lees.
1. Ashton Golding; 2. Tom Briscoe, 3. Kallum Watkins, 22. Ash Handley, 5. Ryan Hall; 6. Joel Moon, 7. Richie Myler; 16. Anthony Mullally, 9. Matt Parcell, 10. Brad Singleton, 11. Jamie Jones-Buchanan, 12. Carl Ablett, 15. Brett Delaney.
Subs: 24. Jack Walker, 27. Cameron Smith, 28. Mikolaj Oledzki, 30. Josh Walters.