Tigers Stumble Vs Saints
Posted: Friday 28th September 2018 - 9:33 PM
Castleford Tigers’ final Super 8s fixture of the season ended in defeat on Friday evening, as league leaders St Helens dominated the contest 26-0.
The clash wasn’t the ideal preparation for next week’s massive Super League semi-final with Wigan Warriors, but the Tigers can take heart from a sound defensive performance in the second period, in which they conceded just one try despite enduring 40 minutes of fairly constant pressure.
Despite the relatively miniscule stakes of the game, the Tigers also showcased this defensive intent in the early stages, regularly pinning the hosts down inside their own half.
However, in their first real venture into Castleford’s red zone, St Helens did strike, as prop Matty Lees crashed over from close range.
The Tigers threatened in the aftermath of the opener, but had a hard time finding their clinical edge. Jesse Sene-Lefao went closest, but the play was brought back for a forward pass.
Midway though the first half, Joe Wardle essentially took one for the team as he received a yellow card for holding down after a smart Saints break. This gave the hosts the ascendency, and the game’s second try of the night soon followed as Morgan Knowles slid over.
All in all, the understrength Tigers provided little of note in an attacking sense during the first period, meaning they probably deserved the 18-point deficit they faced at the break, thanks to a Ben Barba try.
For any chance of a comeback, the visitors had to come out of the blocks fast but it soon became evident that the result was just about sealed.
A Danny Richardson penalty and a second Barba try came quickly after the restart, putting Saints five scores ahead.
A build-up of complacent mistakes from Castleford added to their woes but, to their credit, they hung tough in defence – keeping a rampant St Helens at bay when many other sides would have folded and conceded a bucket-load of points.
With both sides saving troops for the play-offs to come in the latter stages, Castleford enjoyed some rare pressure on the Saints line but points remained elusive as the hosts ran out with the convincing victory.
All focus now turns to next Friday, where the Tigers will aim to replicate their 2017 feat of reaching the Betfred Super League grand final.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 0-26 St Helens
Mata’utia, Minikin, Webster, Roberts, Clare, Trueman, Gale, Watts, McShane, Millington, Wardle, Sene-Lefao, Massey
Milner, Clark, Maher, Laulu-Togaga’e
Sin Bin: Joe Wardle
Barba, Makinson, Morgan, Costello, Grace, Fages, Richardson, Amor, Roby, Lees, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles
McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas, Ashworth, Bentley
Tries: Lees, Knowles, Barba (2)
Conversions: Richardson (4/4)
Penalty: Richardson (1/1)
*Match Report by Ross Williams