Super League leaders St Helens far too good for Castleford Tigers

Michael Shenton looks to get a pass away in Castleford Tigers' game against St Helens. Picture: Simon Hall
Michael Shenton looks to get a pass away in Castleford Tigers' game against St Helens. Picture: Simon Hall

Castleford Tigers's unbeaten home record was well and truly smashed as they were heavily beaten 42-12 by Betfred Super League leaders St Helens.

Distinctly second best for much of the game, the Tigers were made to pay for making too many errors as they conceded eight tries and showed they have a lot to do to make up into genuine title contenders in 2019.

Saints looked sharp from the kick-off and were ahead within four minutes as the home defence stood off a little on the last tackle and Lachlan Coote went over from close range on a determined run.

He added the conversion and a penalty on 14 minutes to make it 8-0.

Cas did have a chance to hit back in between the two goals as their restart from the try bounced out over the back line, but their attacking set ended when Jake Trueman was tackled after his kick had bounced back to him off a visiting player's head and an extra set was not granted.

Another promising attack ended as Trueman's grubber was well defended by Saints on their line.

The leaders continued to look dangerous and only a brave tackle by Nathan Massey denied Alex Walmsley with the big Saints prop held up over the line. It was costly for the Cas player who had to go off injured, holding his arm.

St Helens were not to be denied on 24 minutes as a swift handling move direct from a scrum resulted in Regan Grace diving over in the corner.

Further points were added when Greg Eden's wayward pass gave possession away in the Tigers half and they were made to pay with Dominique Peyroux charging through a gap for a try goaled by Coote.

Cas improved their attacking play towards the end of the half as they were sparked into life by Jesse Sene-Lefao's appearance off the bench. But one promising attack ended with Paul McShane's pass intercepted near the line and the last set of the half finished with McShane's grubber being hacked to safety by James Roby.

There was no time to take the drop-out with the hooter going and at 18-0 Cas had played out their third successive half against Saints without scoring a point.

The Tigers needed a big response at the start of the second half, but did not get it as Eden's difficult night continued when he put his foot in touch fielding a Saints kick. From the next set the visitors scored again with Zeb Taia going over all too easy for a try goaled by Coote.

A decision went the Tigers' way when Joseph Paulo was denied a try by the video referee after the ball was lost in contact by Eden in his own 20. The scrum went to the visitors, however, and from their next set they scored again with Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook powering over.

Another try soon followed as Marck Percival reached out in a tackle to get the ball over the line.

Cas fans finally had something to cheer when skipper Michael Shenton intercepted near his own line and charged downfield. He looked to be running out of gas, but rounded Regan Grace to score a try that was goaled by Jordan Rankin.

After the Tigers were nilled at St Helens in the clubs' last meeting this ended 138 scoreless minutes for Castleford against these opponents.

They came close to another score, but Alex Foster was bundled into touch a couple of metres out.

The comeback did not last long with Peyroux producing a strong finish to get the ball down over the line despite three tacklers trying to stop him.

After a brief flurry by the hosts came to nothing another try added to Saints' tally with Jonny Lomax backing up a good break down their left. Coote's goal made it 42-6.

Cas at least had the consolation of the final score of the night as Trueman produced a nice solo effort to weave his way over for s try converted by Rankin.

Scorers - Castleford: Tries Shenton, Trueman; goals Rankin 2. St Helens: Tries Coote, Grace, Peyroux 2, Taia, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Percival, Lomax; goals Coote 5.

Castleford Tigers: Mata'utia; Minikin, Foster, Shenton, Eden; Trueman, Rankin; Watts, McShane, Millington, Holmes, Moors, Massey. Subs: Clare, Milner, Sene-Lefao, Cook.
St Helens: Coote; Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace; Lomax, Fages; Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles. Subs: Paulo, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lees, Ashworth.

Referee: James Child

Half-time: 0-18.

Attendance: 8,042.