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MATCH REPORT | St Helens 4-0 Castleford Tigers

St Helens picked up the League Leaders Shield after beating Castleford in a low scoring affair at Totally Wicked Stadium.

 

MATCH DETAILS

Saints and Castleford equalled the record for the lowest-scoring game in Super League history as Saints came out on top in a 4-0 victory. Salford beat Castleford 4-0 in their first ever Super League game in 1997 and Saints beat Crusaders on a foggy February night in 2009.

Castleford started the game as the better team as Greg Minikin had the best of the early chances but was denied thanks to outstanding goal line defence, first from Tommy Makinson and then his centre partner, Matty Costello.

Regan Grace then scored the only try of the game in the 33rd minute. James Roby created space with a dummy before giving it to Mark Percival and he was able to feed the ball to Grace who stretched out to ground the ball. Danny Richardson was unable to add the extras.

The second half started very similarly with Castleford starting on the front foot. The majority of the half was spent camped on Saints’ line but they showed why they are so far ahead at the top of the table with their work ethic in defence.

Handling errors and bizarre penalties being given meant there was a stop-start nature to the game and both teams could not get into a rhythm.

In the final 20 minutes, Saints looked like they had extended their lead as Alex Walmsley and then Jonny Lomax had tries chalked off for obstruction.

 

FOUR POINTERS

Keep cup-finalists off Sky

If one thing is to come out of this weekend it’s that the Challenge Cup Finalists should not be put on Sky the week after. Both teams had short turnarounds and it showed as neither Salford vs Warrington or Saints vs Cas could be classed as entertaining affairs.

McManus

The most controversial thing to come out of the game was St Helens chairman Eammon McManus’ programme notes. McManus claimed that Robert Hicks having a ‘publicity stunt’ with Warrington in the week of the Cup Final is questionable. McManus has been crucified by pundits and fans alike on social media for these comments.

Play-off unlikely

This was really a must win game for the Cas outfit especially as Hull FC lost to Huddersfield on the same night. Cas will now have to win both of their final games if they have any chance of getting a 5th place finish.

Congratulations

The League Leaders Shield is seen as the lesser of the three trophies on offer however it can be seen as the hardest to win and not only have Saints won it, they have blown every opposition this season out of the water. It is looking likely that they will win it by a record margin so some congratulations is in order.

 

THE RESULT

St Helens 4
Tries: Grace
Goals: n/a
Drop Goals: n/a

Castleford Tigers 0
Tries: n/a
Goals:n/a
Drop Goals: n/a

 

SQUADS

St Helens: Welsby, Makinson, Costello, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Richardson; Amor, Roby, Thompson, Ashworth, Z Taia, Knowles

Interchanges: Walmsley, Paulo, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Bentley

Castleford Tigers: Rankin, Clare, Mata’utia, Blair, Minikin; Trueman, Ellis, Watts, McShane, Millington, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey

Interchanges: Milner, Sene-Lefao, O’Neill, Smith

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