Tigers Fall to St. Helens
Posted: Thursday 24th May 2018 - 9:58 PM
Castleford Tigers failed to capitalise on their Magic Weekend success on Thursday night as they were defeated 40-18 by league leaders St Helens at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The Tigers ended the contest with a late flourish, and mixed it with Saints for much of the first period. However, St Helens’ class shone through and the game was practically in the bag moments into the second 40.
Castleford got off to the worst possible start, conceding inside three minutes. Prop Kyle Amor picked up the points as he somehow squeezed himself between the up-rights.
However, the black and amber were quick to hit back and, after picking up a penalty at midfield, they struck themselves via a rampaging Mike McMeeken. From the get-go, it was clear that plenty of points were in the offering here, if the teams wanted to take the opportunity.
The following moments provided the Mend-A-Hose Jungle with some spectacular action on both sides of the ball, as each side made the most of the glorious conditions.
This preceded controversy though, as Saints increased their lead. Three-quarters of the ground were convinced that Adam Swift had knocked on in the build-up but, regardless, Ben Barba picked up the loose ball and raced 90 yards to score one of the tries of the season so far.
Chris Kendall decided against going up to the video referee on this occasion, but he did require the services of the official a few minutes later. It looked as if Greg Minikin had put the Tigers right back in it, but the winger was adjudged to have spilled the ball over the line.
Instead, it was Saints who grabbed the next try of the evening, as Jonny Lomax smuggled his way through an admittedly flimsy gap on Castleford’s left flank.
Dominique Peyroux then added to the Tigers’ woes as he went over in the same exact spot. Barba’s presence was causing all kinds of problems. With everyone expecting the ball to go through him, space was opening up elsewhere.
Minikin looked as if he was in again as we approached the half time hooter. But, once again, his effort was pulled up by the video referee as he trailed his foot into touch before planting the ball down.
Castleford could have really done with scoring first in the second half, but it wasn’t to be as Saints turned a contentious penalty into four points. Ryan Morgan came up with the decisive touch after some classy stuff from the visitors up the right edge.
Things then went from bad to worse for the Tigers as Morgan doubled up, following some sensational stuff from Lomax in the middle of the park.
Castleford attempted to put something together as time drew on, but nothing was falling for them now. It was all Saints in terms of the scoring department, and they were attacking from deep at will. Theo Fages came up with the next score, but in truth it could have been any one of the four supporting St Helens players.
Finally, the Tigers did have some joy, as Jy Hitchcox raced off to score a consolation in the left corner. Even this, though, came from a Saints mistake deep in their own half.
Time was always going to be Castleford’s enemy, so the result – bar a bonafide rugby league miracle – was settled. However, the Tigers did intend on finishing with something of a flourish.
Jake Trueman was the next to get in on the act, pouncing like a forward onto a short ball close to the line.
Then, it was Oliver Holmes’ turn to get over the whitewash. As he has done for much of the season, the back-rower hit a perfect line and blazed his way to the try line.
St Helens had well and truly taken their foot off the gas with the game won, but they did have enough in reserve to see Fages score his second of the evening to round things off and bring up the 40 for the visitors.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 18-40 St Helens
Shenton, Minikin, Roberts, Foster, Hitchcox, Ellis, Trueman, Watts, McShane, Sene-Lefao, Holmes, McMeeken, Milner
Moors, Millington, Massey, Cook
Tries: McMeeken, Hitchcox, Trueman, Holmes
Conversions: Ellis (1/4)
Barba, Swift, Morgan, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Richardson, Amor, Roby, Thompson, Peyroux, Taia, Wilkin
Fages, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas, Knowles
Tries: Amor, Barba, Lomax, Peyroux, Morgan (2), Fages (2)
Conversions: Richardson (4/8)
Burg Wachter Man of the Match: Mike McMeeken
Golden Gamble: 05314
*Match Report by Ross Williams