Castleford vs St Helens Match Report


Castleford’s handling errors came back to cost them as St Helens marked their return to England with a 6-24 win.

The build up to the game for the Saints was filled with chatter about their 55-hour journey back to the UK after a victorious trip down under, but would this affect their performance? For Castleford, they were looking to bounce back following a 32-30 loss to Hull FC in round one. It was building up to be a great game at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

The match started at electric pace, with Castleford getting the better of the opening exchanges. In the first minute, winger Jake Mamo made a fantastic break down the wing and they looked nailed on to score, but a poor pass and a knock-on prevented them from getting the first try of the afternoon.

A few minutes later Castleford were back, a great 40:20 from Jacob Miller gave them good field position but they couldn’t capitalise.

Saints would come back fighting. In the tenth minute, debutant Tee Ritson dived over the line in acrobatic fashion following a silky play from the Saints backline, but the TMO ruled this out and the scores remained 0-0.

Errors from both sides started to creep in, especially when in the red zone. On the 15th minute, Saints came close but Alex Walmsley would cough up the ball and waste a good chance. Seven minutes later though they would finally break the deadlock.

On the 22nd minute, St Helens scored through Jack Welsby; however the opportunity came from a Castleford error. Jake Mamo broke through the defence but a sloppy offload to Jack Broadbent, who knocked on. This gave possession back to St Helens, who worked the ball up the pitch and the mercurial Welsby went under the sticks from close range. Mark Percival converted the kick to make it 0-6.

The rest of the half was dominated by the Saints. They utilised the strong carrying of James Bell and Sione Mata’utia to gain the upper hand. They went close multiple times but couldn’t take their chances. The half ended 0-6 to St Helens, but the game could easily have seen a lot more tries.

Saints scored quickly in the second half. In the 46th minute, fan favourite Konrad Hurrell carried well and offloaded to Jonny Lomax, who broke through the Castleford defence and gave a great pass to Ritson who walked over the line. Percival made it 0-12. The next score was crucial at this point.

Castleford were the team who got that all important next score five minutes later. A silky move through the Castleford backs ended with Broadbent getting the ball in acres of space, and he pinned his ears back and ran for the line. He was stopped by a high tackle from Welsby and the Jungle erupted. The referee didn’t hesitate upon seeing the replays and awarded a penalty try to Castleford, but Welsby stayed on the pitch. Gareth Widdop kicked the goal to make it 6-12.

Castleford could have drawn level in the 58th minute. A high bomb kick from Miller was wonderfully collected by Broadbent, but yet again the offload didn’t go to hands and they knocked it on. Another wasted opportunity from the Tigers.

This came back to bite them in the 64th minute. A little grubber kick from Welsby was pounced on by prop Alex Walmsley to make the score 6-16. Percival knocked over the two points and Saints regained their 12-point lead.

Walmsley was dominant in the last 15 minutes. He put in some massive carries through the middle, and on the 71st minute he was rewarded for this as he crashed over the line for his second try of the afternoon.  . Lomax was given kicking duties and he followed suit and knocked over the goal to make it 6-24.

There was one more error from Castleford. Saints were pushing for another late try, but Bureta Faraimo read the play and intercepted on the wing. He ran the length of the pitch to score on his 100th Super League appearance, or so we thought. The TMO intervened and the replays showed Faraimo had actually gone into touch whilst scoring so the try was ruled out, which was met with ironic cheers from the 2000 St Helens fan in attendance. The ruled out try was one last hurrah for the Tigers, as the match finished Castleford Tigers 6-24 St Helens.

St Helens will be massively pleased to get through this game after a tough week. They will use this as a platform to build off ahead of their clash against Leeds in a repeat of last year’s Grand Final. Castleford will be kicking themselves as they wasted several good opportunities, which they cannot afford to do again next week against Wigan.


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