Hoodoo strikes again as Castleford edged out at St Helens

Ben Roberts: Two tries.
Ben Roberts: Two tries.

Castleford Tigers’ long standing hoodoo struck again as their 25-year wait for an away win at St Helens goes on following a disappointing display at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Daryl Powell’s men produced a decent fight back in the second half, but fell to their second defeat of the season as they went down 26-22.

Cas have not won a league match at Saints since 1990 and not won any game away to them - apart from the recent pre-season friendly - since 1992 and the run was always looking likely to continue as the home team opened up a 12-point lead by half-time.

It was the Tigers who scored first, however, when winger Greg Eden pounced on a Paul McShane grubber kick to touch down for the opening try.

Luke Gale added the conversion and kicked a penalty to give Cas an 8-0 lead.

All looked to be in order for Cas, who made three changes with Michael Shenton, Nathan Massey and Matt Cook returning to their 17.

But Saints got their game together and Mark Percival’s run led to an overlap for Matty Fleming to score in the corner.

Another Percival run put the hosts in good field position again and Luke Douglas stretched out to get the ball down under the posts.

More Saints pressure led to their third try five minutes before half-time when Percival latched on to the end of a Theo Fages grubber kick.

Percival goaled then kicked a penalty to make it 20-8 at half-time.

Cas knew they had to score first in the second half and did so as Ben Roberts spotted a gap in the home defence and raced through it for a try converted by Gale.

It got even better for the Tigers when a superb move in which they moved the ball well ended with Eden going over for his second try of the game. Crucially, though, Gale could not add the conversion from wide out at St Helens stayed in front by two points.

With the game in the balance it was Saints who sealed it 12 minutes from time when nippy young winger Regan Grace touched down following offloads by Tommy Makinson and Percival. The conversion made it 26-18.

Cas kept going and did score in the final minute through Roberts, who again did well to get over the line, but it proved too late to prevent them from suffering their second defeat in the Betfred Super League.

Scorers - St Helens: Tries Fleming, Douglas, Percival, Grace; goals Percival 5. Castleford: Tries Eden 2, Roberts 2; goals Gale 3.

St Helens: Makinson; Swift, Fleming, Percival, Grace; Fages, Smith; Amor, Lee, Walmsley, Taia, Wilkin, Thompson. Subs: Douglas, Walker, Peyroux, Knowles.

Castleford Tigers: Hardaker, Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden; Roberts, Gale; Lynch, McShane, Moors, Millington, McMeeken, Massey. Subs: Holmes, Milner, Sene-Lefao, Cook.

Referee: Chris Campbell.

Half-time: 20-8.