Fages scores only try as Saints beat Tigers in defensive masterclass

In the second rearranged fixture of the weekend, the Castleford Tigers travelled to the Totally Wicked Stadium to face reigning Champions St Helens, instead of Hull FC.

The opening ten minutes was niggly between the two sides with Saints arguably coming out slightly on top.

In the 14th minute, Tommy Makinson was accused of making inappropriate contact in the tackle, with the winger being placed on report.

In a clearer viewing, Makinson was seen squeezing the private parts of Liam Watts.

Just before the 20th minute, Michael Shenton went close to scoring the first points of the game as he looked to ground a loose ball by reaching around Mark Percival.

However, the centre couldn’t quite keep control of the ball and it remained 0-0 with a quarter of the game gone.

Saints lost Percival to what looked like a hamstring injury just before the half-hour mark, but the home side went as close as they had ever got with Kyle Amor crashing over just to the right of the posts.

However, Oliver Holmes got himself under the ball to keep the game scoreless with ten minutes to go until the break.

With six minutes to go until half-time, Danny Richardson was called offside inside his own 10-metre line but Saints opted to run the ball instead of taking the two.

They came to rue this decision as Amor dropped the ball two tackles later to let the Tigers off the hook.

Saints had the ball in hand in the final minute of the half, with Matty Lees held up on tackle two, but then Jonny Lomax dropped the ball to put an end to a very defensively solid first-half.

HALF-TIME: St Helens 0-0 Castleford Tigers

The second-half started with an inch-perfect 40/20 from Danny Richardson, but Liam Watts couldn’t keep a hold on the ball when he took a carry just five metres from the try-line.

A few minutes later, Jonny Lomax picked up a knock for the Saints after he was hit off the ball by Grant Millington with a shoulder charge, and the Tigers prop spent the next ten minutes in the sin-bin.

With the penalty awarded to Saints, Coote took the ball in his hands, placed it on the kicking tee and struck a penalty for the home side to take a two-point lead.

Further ill-discipline from Castleford allowed Saints to move up towards to try-line, but after Watts interfered at the ruck, Coote kicked a second penalty to make it 4-0.

Millington returned to the field for the Tigers but with 15 minutes remaining, knocked on the ball inside his own 10-metre line to gift Saints possession.

Castleford held strong once again though, with a high tackle from James Graham relieving the pressure on the Tigers.

Saints went close again in the 70th minute but the pass from Theo Fages out to Regan Grace was too high for the Welsh winger to collect and the score remained 4-0.

Oliver Holmes’ 56th tackle of the match put Cas in good field position after forcing Makinson to knock the ball on.

With just six minutes remaining a kick along the floor from Richardson was once again chased by Shenton but the Tigers captain grounded the ball beyond the dead-ball line.

In Saints very next set, Alex Walmsley made a break, through the middle of the park, and was brought down by Gareth O’Brien.

The prop played the ball quickly and the ball was shifted to Grace, who stepped off his left foot and was then wrapped up by four Cas defenders to be denied.

The game was finally wrapped up in the 77th minute as Walmsley managed to offload out of the tackle to the onrushing Lachlan Coote.

With just O’Brien in front of him, Coote passed right to Theo Fages, who still had to push off two tacklers and battle his way over to score.

Castleford had the ball in hand in the final seconds as Jesse Sene-Lefao attacked down the left but his pass to Shenton was cut out by Makinson and the final hooter blew.

FULL-TIME: St Helens 10-0 Castleford Tigers


Squads


St Helens

Coote, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Graham, Taia, Bentley, Knowles

Interchanges: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lees, Amor, Smith

Tries: Fages

Goals: Coote (3/3)


Castleford Tigers

O’Brien, Olpherts, Foster, Shenton, Clare, McShane, Richardson, Watts, Milner, Griffin, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey

Interchanges: Millington, Turner, Sene-Lefao, O’Neill

Tries: 

Goals:

Sin-Bin: Millington


Referee: J. Child

Touch Judges: M. Griffiths, S. Mikalauskas

Video Referee: B. Thaler


Image Source: @saints1890 (Twitter)

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