St Helens put Castleford Tigers to the sword as they destroyed last year’s Grand Finalists 46-6.
Justin Holbrook’s side has been heavily tipped to win this year’s competition, and they lived up t their billing by crushing last year’s runaway leaders, who looked a shadow of the side that dominated last season.
But the night belonged to Saints. Ben Barba starred with a dazzling display including two tries, while Mark Percival bagged a hat-trick.
Barba opened the scoring, before further tries through Zeb Taia, Jonny Lomax and Percival handed the hosts a 22-0 lead.
Paul McShane scored for the Tigers to ensure they wouldn’t get nilled, but Percival completed his hat-trick and further tries for Barba and Taia completed the rout.
St Helens: Barba, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Richardson, Amor, Roby, Thompson, Peyroux, Taia, Wilkin. Subs: Fages, Walmsley, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Knowles.
Castleford: Roberts, Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Gale, Moors, McShane, Green, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey. Subs: Millington, Milner, Sene-Lefao, Cook.