St Helens assert their intentions with impressive win over Castleford

St Helens became the first side to defeat Castleford at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle with a superb defensive display earning them a 26-12 victory.

The Saints, who are now in the top four following an eighth win in 11 games under new coach Justin Holbrook, dispatched of the runaway leaders with a clinical performance both with and without the ball.

But it was their defensive efforts that impressed the most as they recorded a victory that further reinforced the belief they can go the distance by the end of the year despite spending the majority of the season mid-table.

They superbly tamed the free-flowing Tigers, who have drawn endless praise for their stunning performances this year. But Daryl Powell’s side, although not quite at their scintillating best, couldn’t break down the superb Saints defence.

Zeb Taia gave the visitors the lead after breaking through from Theo Fages’ pass before Mark Percival converted and kicked a penalty for an 8-0 lead.

Cas hit back after half-time through Adam Milner, but another Percival penalty followed by two tries for excellent hooker James Roby and Jonny Lomax secured the victory, with Joel Monaghan scoring an excellent try for Castleford.

Tigers: 1 Zak Hardaker, 21 Joel Monaghan, 2 Greg Minikin, 4 Michael Shenton, 25 Jy Hitchcox, 16 Ben Roberts, 7 Luke Gale, 10 Grant Millington, 9 Paul McShane, 15 Jesse Sene-Lefao, 34 Alex Foster, 12 Mike McMeeken, 14 Nathan Massey
Subs: 11 Oliver Holmes, 13 Adam Milner, 18 Matt Cook, 20 Larne Patrick
Tries: Milner, Monaghan
Goals: Gale 2/2

Saints: 1 Jonny Lomax, 2 Tommy Makinson, 3 Ryan Morgan, 4 Mark Percival, 28 Regan Grace, 6, Theo Fages, 24 Danny Richardson, 13 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 9 James Roby, 16 Luke Thompson, 36 Zeb Taia, 18 Dom Peyroux, 12 Jon Wilkin
Subs: 7 Matty Smith, 8 Alex Walmsley, 10 Kyle Amor, 20 Morgan Knowles
Tries: Taia, Roby (2), Lomax
Goals: Percival 5/6