Castleford Tigers v Saints
Saints crashed out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup with a 53-10 defeat at Castleford.
The Tigers ran in ten tries to progress to the next round after dominating the contest throughout.
They got off to the best possible start when Michael Shenton dummied his way over after just three minutes.
Seven minutes later Jake Webster increased the advantage when he took a line ball to go to the right of the sticks for 10-0.
Saints then weathered more Castleford pressure and had the video referee to thank when Grant Millington was adjudged to have stripped the ball from Mark Percival – after he caught it and put down.
But the visitors then fought their way back into it.
On the last Matty Smith put in an inch perfect crossfield kick which Ryan Morgan plucked out of mid-air and put down.
At 10-4 it was game on and Saints thought they had scored on 23 minutes when Zeb Taia went over on the far side.
Mark Percival had done the hard yards getting them up the field – before the back rower looked to have touched down.
But it was chalked off – even though the ball was clearly over the line.
Saints had their tails up and continued to pile on the pressure.
Strong Luke Thompson runs got them close twice whilst Percival and Taia each found gaps in the Tigers’ line.
But they couldn’t punch it in and on 33 minutes Cas went right up the other end of the field and scored through Jake Webster.
Seconds later they broke from within their own half and although the defence did a good job on Greg Eden, they couldn’t stop McShane going over on the last.
And their third try in five minutes came when a simple break down the middle saw Luke Gale chip it into the corner for Minikin to pounce.
Gale added a drop goal as the half ended – and as the hooter sounded Nathan Massey stretched over to compound a dominant display.
Greg Eden tagged on another Castleford try early in the second half before Adam Swift made a wonder tackle on Tom Holmes – coming from the other side of the field to keep his line intact.
Eden scored again on 50 minutes and completed his hat-trick just past the hour mark.
Regan Grace had one chalked off for a forward pass as the game entered the final ten minutes before Greg Minikin went the length of the field.
Luke Douglas adding a late one with five minutes to go.
Tries: Shenton, Webster (2), McShane, Minikin (2), Massey, Eden (3)
Goals: Gale (5 from 10)
Tries: Morgan, Douglas
Goals: Percival (1 from 2)
REF: Phil Bentham
1. Zak Hardaker; 2. Greg Minikin, 3. Jake Webster, 4. Michael Shenton, 5. Greg Eden; 23. Tom Holmes, 7. Luke Gale; 8. Andy Lynch, 9. Paul McShane, 10. Grant Millington, 15. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 12. Mike McMeeken, 13. Adam Milner.
Subs: 14. Nathan Massey, 16. Ben Roberts, 17. Junior Moors, 18. Matt Cook.
2. Tommy Makinson; 5. Adam Swift, 4. Mark Percival, 3. Ryan Morgan, 28. Regan Grace; 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith; 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 14. Luke Douglas, 36. Zeb Taia, 20. Morgan Knowles, 16. Luke Thompson.
Subs: 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 19. Greg Richards.
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Length of the field effort through some poor Saints tackling
Grace has one chalked off for a forward pass.
Penalty to Saints
Simple fast sweep to the left sees Eden grab his third
And then lose it.
Saints get the ball back.
Saints will have to defend more sets after Fages knocks on on the last.
Saints have to drop out.
Saints punished for their mistake and Greg flies in in the corner
Saints lose the ball in midfield
Saints have the ball but lose it in a great position. Ball goes back the other way but Swift makes a wonder tackle on Tom Holmes.
Ball looked to have been passed as the tackle was made… but it’s play on and Eden scores.
Upstairs for a Cas try – has the ball been passed when tackled?
Cas on the front foot from the kick off
Stretches over on the last… video referee gives it. Give that and you have to give Taia’s?
Another break through the middle, another Cas try. Gale with the kick to set up the winger.
On the last after stunning Cas break
Last tackle kick and Webster beats Grace to the high ball
Saints can’t punch a way in – Swift penalised on the last as Smith’s kick goes over to Eden.
Louie taken high – Saints have a penalty in front of the sticks.
Percy on the last is held up short. Saints knocking on the door again.
Scrappy period for both teams here. Saints are on the front foot though.
Zeb classed as being held up short by the video referee.
Has Zeb scored?
Saints more into this now after that try – Percy breaking down the left causing Cas problems and he gains a penalty.
Smith’s kick to the corner – Morgan jumps higher than them all and puts down.
Grant Millington adjudged to have stripped the ball from Mark Percival by the video referee. Big call for Saints as the big prop caught his strip and put down under the posts.
Smith’s cross field kick – Cas can’t deal with it but Saints are pulled for a knock on.
Grace takes a bouncing ball to come away from his own line.
Third time of asking – line ball into his grateful hands.
Ryan Morgan reads the play and stops a certain Cas try by going for the intercept… but he can’t haul it in. Third set in a row for the home side.
Saints lose the ball again in midfield trying to over play.
Penalty to Saints
Saints break down the left hand side but Percy’s inside pass goes into the hands of a Cas player.
High ball from Cas – Makinson takes it and Saints come away from their line.
Numbers on Cas’ left hand side and Shenton goes over.
Penalty to Saints
High ball from Smith, Castleford fail to deal with it and Luke Douglas comes up with it. He can’t find an offload though.
James Roby leads the boys out – Castleford will get this one underway. Saints attacking the home fans end.