IF it’s at all possible this was a match of three halves and the Saints only won one of them.
All of which makes it all the more frustrating to see that they still managed to draw with Castleford 30-30, writes Graham Henthorne.
The Saints started well defensively restricting the Tigers attack and were denied two tries one for a forward pass from Jack White to Connor Dwyer and the second due to a knock on after a break by Lewis Galbraith.
But they fell behind to a Tigers try on the quarter hour.
A good drive from sub Brad Ashurst led to Matty Fozzard darting out of dummy half and stretching over the line to even things up.
However, hero turned villain when Ashurst tried an ambitious round the man pass in his own half which was intercepted. Although the Tigers man was hauled down by Lewis Charnock, three tackles later they went in at the right corner.
Despite this setback the Saints were finally hitting some form, completing sets and putting the hosts under pressure. From which they wilted.
Drives from England tourist Luke Thompson and Chris Webster put the Saints on the attack and it was Thompson who was on hand to score at the posts.
Jack White then produced a piece of individual brilliance which led to the Saints third try. On the last he jinked inside the defence putting in a grubber which rebounded onto an off side Tigers player giving the Saints a repeat set. From the tap James Tilley literally bounced his would be defender out of the way to score.
The eight point interval lead quickly became 20 points as the Saints scored two converted tries in the opening five minutes of the second period.
Charnock put Webster into a massive hole at the posts and when the Tigers hooker was penalised in possession Matt Wood went over in the right corner after quick hands saw the ball his way.
There were chances for the Saints to put the game to bed with another try but then the wheels came off.
Three tries in a ten minute spell put the hosts back to within four due to some poor tackling and a succession of penalties marching the opposition down field.
The Saints again should have calmed nerves when Matty Fozzard did really well to regain the kick off on the Tigers line but Ashurst knocked on over the line from the play the ball.
The hosts drew level with another try from a high kick to the corner and proceeded to throw everything at the Saints.
Tempers frayed as Alex Clare was sent off for a foul challenge with two minutes to go and the remaining 12 men charged down two attempted drop goals in the dying seconds to avoid a similar fate to the first team last Sunday.
For a 30 minute period the Saints were in total control, racked up 30 points and never looked like losing. The pack led by Chris Webster and Luke Thompson had the measure of their opposite numbers and Lewis Charnock was leading his charges around the park with ease.
But, as it became only too obvious later on, games are played over 80 minutes. If the Saints had performed for even half of those 80 minutes this would have been a cake walk.
Tries: Jamie Graves 3, Jordan Anderson, Lewis Farr, Kane Riley
Goals: Connor Land 3
Tries: Matt Wood, Matty Fozzard, James Tilley, Chris Webster, Luke Thompson
Goals: Lewis Charnock 5
Half Time: 10-18
Full Time: 30-30
4. Curtis MacDonald; 2. Jamie Graves, 3. Jordan Gill, 15. Tommy Newbould, 18. Billy Nodder; 6. Connor Land, 7. Jordan Anderson; 8. Liam Lunn, 9. Casey Canterbury, 10. Nathan Hammond, 11. Jack Walton, 12. Luke Day, 13. Brad Foster.
Subs: 5. Kane Riley, 15. Nathan Darby, 16. Joe Buggle, 17. Lewis Farr.
1. Corey Lee; 2. Ben Parry, 3. Matt Wood, 18. Lewis Galbraith, 19. Ben Roberts; 6. Lewis Charnock, 7. Jack White; 8. Greg Richards, 9. Matty Fozzard, 10. Matt Cooke, 11. Alex Clare, 13. Connor Dwyer, 12. James Tilley.
Subs: 14. Tom Roughley, 15. Luke Thompson, 17. Chris Webster, 20. Brad Ashurst.