In a highly anticipated rugby league match, St Helens delivered a stunning performance, overpowering the Castleford Tigers with a commanding 22-0 victory. The game, held at St Helens’ home ground, witnessed an exceptional display of skill and determination from the home team.
The match kicked off with Castleford Tigers’ debutant, Riley Dean, making an immediate impact just four minutes into the contest. Dean’s fantastic 40/20 kick brought Castleford into attacking range early on. However, despite their early efforts, a kick on the last play from Castleford’s Mellor was forced dead by St Helens’ Welsby, resulting in a penalty for Castleford due to offside in the build-up.
St Helens broke the deadlock in the 17th minute, capitalising on a high kick from Dodd and a chaotic scramble in the air. The ball bounced towards the in-goal area, and Mata’utia seized the opportunity, pouncing on it to score the opening try of the match.
The hosts, St Helens, attempted to take advantage of a slip by Castleford’s Sam Hall, launching a swift attack down the right flank in the 20th minute. The ball seemed destined for Hopoate, but Castleford’s Widdop showcased brilliant scrambling defence, forcing the ball loose and allowing Castleford to regain possession.
With 12 minutes remaining in the first half, Albert Vete made a comeback to the field, replacing Liam Watts for St Helens.
St Helens seemed to find a gap in Castleford’s defence as Dodd kicked through and chased his own kick. However, Widdop exhibited exceptional skills, scooping up the ball and launching a counterattack to thwart St Helens’ scoring opportunity.
Unfortunately for Castleford, an error soon followed as Turner knocked the ball on, granting St Helens a head and feed scrum 10 meters from Castleford’s try line. St Helens shifted the ball from right to left and found Welsby, who expertly stepped inside, creating a gap to score and extend the hosts’ lead.
The first half showcased solid defensive performances from both sides, with Castleford impressively fending off St Helens’ offensive onslaught. Castleford’s disciplined completion of their sets ensured they remained in the game, trailing 8-0 at halftime.
As the second half commenced, the Tigers managed to gain some ground but failed to convert their efforts into points. Strong carries from Qareqare, including an offload from Widdop, propelled Castleford to within 20 meters of the try line. However, Mellor was met with a sturdy St Helens defence, preventing Castleford from scoring.
St Helens continued their offensive dominance, with Dodd launching a high bomb that was spilled by Castleford’s Tate, resulting in a scrum for St Helens 10 meters from the try line. St Helens swiftly attacked the right edge, exploiting the Tigers’ defensive vulnerability with a well-timed pass to Bennison, who expertly grounded the ball in the corner.
A powerful hit from Vete on Castleford’s Hurrell allowed Castleford to gain some extra meters. This was followed by a penalty for Castleford, which was kicked to the 20-meter mark. However, Miller’s kick on the last play, aimed towards Qareqare, was caught by the winger but resulted in him being bundled into touch upon landing.
Castleford attempted to bring the ball away from their own line, but Turner lost control of it, granting St Helens another opportunity to add to their score. Percival seized the chance, bulldozing his way over the whitewash and concluding the scoring for the evening.
The final whistle blew, confirming St Helens’ dominant performance as they emerged victorious with a resounding 22-0 win over the Castleford Tigers. St Helens showcased their superior skills and tight defence, leaving Castleford struggling to break through their lines throughout the match.
FINAL SCORE: St Helens 22-0 Castleford Tigers