Castleford Tigers earned a thrilling 25-24 victory over St Helens tonight at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle with a last second field-goal by Ben Roberts that put the Tigers into fourth place and stunned the league leaders.
Whereas in their recent games the Tigers have shot into early leads and then held off their opponents, but this time they had to come from behind to beat St Helens.
Justin Carney opened the score for the Tigers after five minutes, going over in the corner after a smart passing move, although Luke Gale couldn’t add the conversion.
St Helens replied four minutes later, when Luke Walsh touched down Travis Burns’ kick and Mark Percival’s goal gave Saints a two-point lead.
And Walsh created St Helens’ second try in the 16th minute, when he gave a wonderful short pass for Alex Walmsley to go over under the posts, with Percival again adding the goal.
Castleford winger Denny Solomona brought the Tigers back into the game when he picked up a loose ball near his own line, dashing down the win, with Adam Swift unable to catch him, and stepping beautifully inside the fullback, with Gale’s conversion making it 10-12
St Helens, playing with confidence, moved back to the other end of the field and this time it was Joe Greenwood, another player back from injury, who scored from another fine pass by Walsh, with Percival’s goal restoring an eight-point lead at half-time.
The Tigers responded after six minutes of the second half when they kept the ball alive superbly, and Jake Webster touched down a superb grubber from Roberts for another converted try.
And they took the lead on 59 minutes when Matt Cook scored a try from a Gale kick that was knocked forward by Jordan Turner, and Gale’s kick gave the Tigers a 22-18 lead.
But then St Helens scored a controversial try when Shannon McDonnell touched down a clever kick from Turner, despite the suspicion of offside. However, referee Richard Silverwood awarded the try and the video referee could find no evidence to overrule his decision. Percival’s goal restored a two-point lead to Saints.
But Castleford levelled the scores with four minutes remaining when Gale kicked a penalty, and then both he and Walsh failed with drop-goal attempts in a frenetic atmosphere, until Roberts scored with the final act of the game, dropping a goal as the final hooter was about to sound to give the Tigers a one-point victory.