On Sunday St Helens took on Castleford Tigers in their last main warm up game before the season starts next week. Both teams named strong starting line ups, that included the majority of main signings from both clubs, with the exception of Matty Smith and Ryan Morgan for the Saints, meaning expectations were high in both camps.
It was the Tigers that started the strongest and only took two minutes to open the day’s scoring through Rangi Chase. After St Helens had failed to defuse the high kick on the last tackle, the ball was passed to the ex-England international to skip through the Saints defence and with Gale adding the conversion, the Tigers were 0-6 up. With both teams throwing the ball around and testing each other’s defences, it took until the 25th minute before Tigers fullback (on loan from Rhinos), Zak Hardaker was put through a huge gap to score out wide and give the visitors a 0-10 lead. It wasn’t all Castleford as both Morgan Knowles and Greenwood both crossed for Saints, only for some excellent goal line defence to stop them grounding the ball.
After changing ends at 0-10, the Tigers continued to apply pressure on the Saints’ goal line and, 5 minutes into the second half, they were rewarded with a try to new boy Sene-Lafao, who burst through some poor defence to score. This was again converted by Gale. With Gale and Chase now running the show, it was from a penalty under the posts that was shipped to The Tigers left, that Grant Millington crashed over. With Gale again adding the extras, Castleford lead 0-22.
St Helens did manage a consolation after Hardarker did his best to keep the ball in play, only for Swift to collect and jog in from 20 metres out, with Percival adding the extras that gave the game its final score line of 6-22.