Saints fell to consecutive league defeats, after an error-ridden performance and two yellow cards meant Castleford came away with a 28-14 win at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday afternoon.
All eyes were on the Mend-A-Hose Jungle after a number of sporting events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak but it was business as usual for rugby league.
Castleford started the better side, and thought they had taken the lead after seven minutes when Derrell Olpherts went over on the right, but the referee pulled the game back for obstruction in the build up.
Up the other end, Theo Fages was close to grounding a lovely grubber kick by Lachlan Coote who was returning from injury, but the ball just ran dead as Fages made contact.
The hosts took the lead in the 11th minute, Peter Mata’utia turning and touching down amongst challenges by three Saints defenders who failed to wrap him up, after a short ball by former Saint Danny Richardson. Richardson added the extras to give Castleford a 6-0 lead.
Olpherts was lively again, and this time scored in the 18th minute, touching down in the right corner after the hosts again targeted the Saints left edge. Richardson was unable to convert, leaving the score at 10-0.
Things were made more difficult for Saints in the 30th minute, as Matty Lees received a yellow card for a high tackle on Jordan Rankin as he fell to the ground, leaving Saints a man down for the final ten minutes of the half.
Saints were punished almost instantly; Mata’utia scoring in the right for his second of the game after a quick break, however Richardson failed to convert again giving the hosts a 14-0 lead after 33 minutes.
Tommy Makinson got a much needed try for Saints just before half time, Coote with the cut-out pass to the right touchline and Makinson flew down the wing to touchdown in the corner. The try scorer was unable to add the extras sending Castleford into half time with a 14-4 lead.
Saints started much better in the second half, Jack Welsby went over two minutes in, but the referee had deemed Rankin had grounded the ball as Regan Grace’s kick went through.
Minutes later, McCarthy-Scarsbrook received a yellow card for a high challenge on Richardson, and Saints were a man down once again.
Saints defended well during that period, however against the run of play Cheyse Blair forced his way through a number of defenders in the right corner after 58 minutes. Richardson couldn’t add the extras, leaving the hosts with a 18-4 lead.
James Roby was the next to be penalised as he caught Jake Trueman high in a challenge, and Danny Richardson kicked the penalty to give Castleford a 20-4 lead after 67 minutes.
The Tigers won another penalty under the sticks minutes later and Richardson made no mistake, giving the hosts a 22-4 lead with nine minutes to go.
Welsby did respond, going over in the left corner after quick hands by Coote, but Makinson was unable to add the conversion, leaving the score 22-8 with six minutes to go.
Two minutes later, Trueman scored for the hosts after a defensive error, which saw McShane kick a low ball underneath the sticks and Trueman was there to pounce on the loose ball. Richardson converted, to make it 28-8.
Walmsley broke through the Cas line down the middle, before playing a short pass to Luke Thompson who scored underneath the sticks unchallenged late on. Makinson added the extras, making it 28-14 and that’s how the game ended on an afternoon to forget for the Saints.
Castleford 13: Jordan Rankin, Derrell Olpherts, Peter Mata’utia, Michael Shenton, James Clare, Jake Trueman, Danny Richardson, Liam Watts, Paul McShane, George Griffin, Cheyse Blair, Mike McMeeken, Nathan Massey.
Interchanges: Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Daniel Smith.
Tries: Mata’utia (7, 33), Olpherts (18), Blair (58), Trueman (76).
Goals: Richardson (2).
Penalties: Richardson (2).
Saints 13: Lachlan Coote, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Jack Welsby, Regan Grace, Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Zeb Taia, Dominique Peyroux, Morgan Knowles.
Interchanges: Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Matty Lees, Kyle Amor, Aaron Smith.
Tries: Makinson (39), Welsby (74), Thompson (78).
Half time: 14-4
Full Time: 28-12
Referee: Liam Moore