Saints got their Betfred Super League campaign off to a flyer with a 46-6 win over Castleford Tigers.

Mark Percival bagged a hat-trick whilst Ben Barba took the headlines with a superb performance.

He scored two and had a hand in several others as Saints gained some revenge for their semi-final defeat.

Saints had the job done in the first half as they led 22-0.

Barba scored within the first five minutes and then Jon Wilkin combined with the fullback to put Zeb Taia over.

And 25 minutes in it got better as Barba’s kick was acrobatically tipped back on the deadball line by Alex Walmsley for Lomax to touch down.

An amazing bit of skill for a prop that stands at 6 ft 5.

Two minutes later it was 22-0.

Lomax hammered home a 40-20 and on the resultant set, the ball found its away to Mark Percival who muscled his way over.

Richardson kicking his third conversion of the night.

Castleford showed that they weren’t going to go away by having a sustained period of pressure on the Saints’ line early in the second half.

But the home side weathered the storm and then extended their lead on 53 minutes.

Back to back drop outs gave Holbrook’s men the opportunity and Percival then showed great strength again for his second of the night.

Kyle Amor saw yellow for interference as the game reached its hour mark and Cas profited through Paul McShane.

But Saints wrestled back any sort of momentum with another try.

Firstly, Wilkin returned to the field to put in a big defensive stint and then Barba pulled off a wonder tackle on Greg Eden.

From there, Theo Fages found Taia and he duly turned it back inside for Barba’s second.

A super try straight from the training field.

Taia scored his second as he ran on a fine line from Fages’ ball and then Saints saved the best until last.

Saints moved the ball at speed from within their own half, Barba produced a stunning arced run and went 50 metres before he turned it back inside for Percival’s hat-trick.

A memorable end to a memorable night.

Match Summary:

Tries: Barba (2), Taia (2), Lomax, Percival (3),
Goals: Richardson (7 from 8)

Tries: McShane
Goals: Gale (1 from 1)

Penalties Awarded:
Saints: 9
Tigers: 5

HT: 22-0
FT: 46-6

REF: J Child

ATT: 13,108


23. Ben Barba; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3, Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 6. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles.

1. Ben Roberts; 2. Greg Minikin, 3. Jake Webster, 4. Michael Shenton, 5. Greg Eden; 21. Jake Trueman, 7. Luke Gale; 8. Junior Moors, 9. Paul McShane, 22. James Green, 11. Oliver Holmes, 12. Mike McMeeken, 14. Nathan Massey.
Subs: 10. Grant Millington, 13. Adam Milner, 15. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 18. Matt Cook.

Saints Line up

23 Ben Barba
2 Tommy Makinson
Ryan Morgan
4 Mark Percival
5 Regan Grace
6 Jonny Lomax
7 Danny Richardson
18 Kyle Amor
James Roby
10 Luke Thompson
11 Zeb Taia
12 Dominique Peyroux
12 Jon Wilkin
7 Theo Fages
8 Alex Walmsley
15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook
13 Morgan Knowles

Castleford Tigers Line up

1Ben Roberts
2Greg Minikin
3Jake Webster
4Michael Shenton
5Greg Eden
6Jake Trueman
7Luke Gale
8Junior Moors
9Paul McShane
10James Green
11Oliver Holmes
12Mike McMeeken
13Nathan Massey
14Grant Millington
15Adam Milner
16Jesse Sene-Lefao
17Matt Cook

Last updated 2 Feb 18 21:38:57

Final score! Saints get off to a flyer! Thanks to all that came out tonight.

Danny Richardson for Saints

with the extras…

Mark Percival for Saints

Hat-trick for Percy – what a break and run from Barba!

Danny Richardson for Saints

Danny Richardson makes it 40-6

Zeb Taia for Saints

On the last Theo catches Taia on an angle and he ghosts through the defence.


Unlucky Reegs! Hand in touch.


Barba with a cut out pass to Grace… there’s no way he’s put that down! Has he?

Ben Barba over for his second, five star pic from @plattyphoto

Danny Richardson for Saints

Richardson makes it 34-6

Ben Barba for Saints

That’s class! Theo, Taia to Barba, lovely stuff!


Cas break from Saints’ kick on the last – then Barba pulls off a wonder tackle to bundle the attacker into touch!


And a penalty follows.. Saints turn to turn the screw.

Some kick that, Trueman with the error and Saints have the ball on the half way line.


Saints have to drop out, Tigers with their tails up.

Paul McShane for Castleford Tigers

McShane take a nice offload. Saints lead 28-6

Yellow Card
Kyle Amor for Saints

Sinbinned for interference in the tackle

Yes Percy lad (again) @plattyphoto

Danny Richardson for Saints

Richardson for 28-0

Mark Percival for Saints

The right call. Great strength from Percy and Saints lead 26-0


Under the posts, penalty, Saints opt to run it.


Barba’s kick – Roby chases – Cas drop out.


Theo on the hunt after a slide rule kick… Saints win a drop out.


Saints penalty, 40 out.


Cas on Saints line – but they come up with an error! Saints remain 22-0 up.


Cas coming out of their own 20 now after period of Saints pressure


And Grace rips the ball one on one and scampers to the 40.


Saints penalised for obstruction following a Cas kick on the last. Big defence here boys

Kick Off

Back out for the second half, Cas will get things underway – Saints lead 22-0

Half time and Saints are ahead


Cas penalty, important defensive set for Saints this with the half time hooter ready


Good field position for Cas now as they look to get on the board – Saints up to the task.


Kick from Barba; just a little too strong for Makinson. Saints remain 22-0 up.


Cas knock on and that’s a let off for Saints


Ball comes off the post and Barba grounds it quickly. Saints will drop out.

Yes Percy lad! @plattyphoto

Danny Richardson for Saints

Richardson for 22-0. Breathtaking stuff from Saints so far.

Mark Percival for Saints

And another, Saints fire a 40:20 and then score in the corner through Percival 20-0

Danny Richardson for Saints

Richardson makes it 16-0

Wow! Saints touch down and lead 14-0


Have Saints scored? Kick by Barba, seems to come back off Walmsley and Lomax touches down… not sure here!


Sweeping move almost puts Makinson in, but Saints win another set from a penalty.


Cas knock-on on the last, Saints ball in prime territory.


Cas penalised for crossing – Saints ball on their 40. They lead 10-0

Mr 400 eyeing up a pass. #saintsandproud


Saints kicking out their sets well, they have Castleford in their half once more.

All smiles as Taia gets Saints second @plattyphoto

Yes Benny B! Great start and great pic from @plattyphoto


Ryan Morgan catches a high ball on Cas’ line but the defence holds firm. Remains 10-0


Saints on the hunt again, they are right on Cas’ line.

Zeb Taia for Saints

Stunning from Saints, down the middle, offloads a plenty and Taia increases the lead. 10-0

Danny Richardson for Saints

Danny makes it 6-0 to Saints.

Ben Barba for Saints

Break down the left hand side and Percival finds Ben Barba! Great start!


Gale with the kick on the last, Barba collects.


Saints clear their lines through Richardson. Cas have it in their own 40.


Both sides have turned over the ball in the first minute here – nervy start?