Both sides had spells of pressure in the opening ten minutes. Early on, Saints forced two dropouts attacking the West Stand, whilst a 40/20 from Riley Dean gave Castleford ball in the Saints ten, but strong Saints defence held them out.
After a tight opening quarter, the hosts took the lead in the 17th minute. A high kick to the left corner from Lewis Dodd was patted down backwards by Jon Bennison, Sione Mata’utia picked the loose ball up and was able to force his way over from close range to open the scoring. Mark Percival’s kick went wide, 4-0 Saints led.
A second almost followed soon after. Saints moved the ball down the right as Jonny Lomax made a break, Konrad Hurrell tried to find Will Hopoate on the wing, but the ball went to ground and Castleford were able to recover the ball.
Saints had another opportunity with nine minutes of the half to go. A move downfield ended with Saints on the Castleford line, James Roby tried a kick on the last but it was claimed by the visitors and that allowed them to move the other way.
Just before the break, Saints did grab their second try of the evening. A Kenny Edwards knock on gave Saints a scrum ten metres out, from it Roby found Lomax, he found Jack Welsby who cut inside on his right foot through a gap to dive over. Percival added the extras, 10-0 the hosts led at the break in a very wet Totally Wicked Stadium.
As the second 40 got underway, try-scorer Mata’utia was taken off at the break for a HIA. The forward did return to the action shortly after the game got back underway though.
The third try of the game came 15 minutes into the second half. Saints went down the left edge and Lomax threw a cut-out pass to Bennison on the left wing, he ran into a Castleford defender but the impact allowed Saints’ number five to ground the ball over the line. Percival added the two from the left touchline, 16-0 Saints led.
Castleford had a good chance to grab some points back with 20 minutes to go. Jacob Miller kicked high to their left corner and it was claimed by Jason Qareqare but a great tackle by Hopoate forced the Castleford winger into touch. Hurrell was then replaced for a HIA after an earlier clash with Albert Vete just inside the Saints half. Saints number 23, who signed a new contract this week, returned to the field shortly before the end of the game.
The hosts almost had another try shortly after. Welsby peaked his head through the visitors’ line and found James Bell, he then tried to find Lomax with an offload but the ball went to ground as he tried to grab it under pressure. Another chance soon followed as Saints headed towards the sticks with Lomax following some steps, but our number six was held up by a combination of the post and a scrambling Tigers defence.
With six minutes to go, Saints had another. From a scrum it was thrown left and that allowed Percival to slide over from close range. He added the extras to his own four-pointer, 22-0 Saints led.
With the last play of the game, Widdop looked to break down the Saints right edge, but Hurrell pushed the Castleford man into touch, as Saints returned to winning ways with a 22-0 victory over Castleford Tigers at a very wet Totally Wicked Stadium!
Saints Team: Jack Welsby, Will Hopoate, Konrad Hurrell, Mark Percival, Jon Bennison, Jonny Lomax, Lewis Dodd, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Matty Lees, Sione Mata’utia, James Bell, Morgan Knowles.
Interchanges: Joey Lussick, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Agnatius Paasi, George Delaney.
18th Man: Ben Davies.
Tries: Sione Mata’utia (17), Jack Welsby (37), Jon Bennison (55), Mark Percival (74)
Conversions: Mark Percival (3 from 4)
Castleford Tigers Team: Gareth Widdop, Will Tate, Alex Mellor, Jordan Turner, Jason Qareqare, Riley Dean, Jacob Miller, George Griffin, Jack Broadbent, Liam Watts, Alex Sutcliffe, Kenny Edwards, Sam Hall.
Interchanges: Albert Vete, Muizz Mustapha, Cain Robb, Brad Martin.
18th Man: Jacob Hookem.