Castleford 22-68 St Helens

In the beautiful summer spring sunshine, rugby league was the winner as both Castleford and St Helens served up a fantastic game of rugby.

While the scoreline reflected a one-sided affair – St Helens racking up 26 points in a sublime 20 minute first half spell – the game was marred for the Tigers by an injury to teenage sensation, Joe Westerman.

The 19-year-old loose forward was taken out off the ball, and looked to have suffered a serious knock to the spine, an incident that left the game stopped for 12 minutes.

Luckily, Westerman is on the road to recovery despite having fits on the field, however has been kept in hospital overnight by medical staff.

But ruthless St Helens did not let the stoppage dispel them from the game as they ran in a further seven tries in a breathtaking spell of domination, which showed why they currently sit top of the league.

Tony Puletua scored a well-taken quartet of tries as the Tigers failed to deal with Saints’ strong and powerful offence.

And it was the former Penrith star that gave Saints the lead after just ninety seconds.

And by the twenty minute mark, the away side had ran in four more tries. Leon Pryce grabbed the first, showing instrumental form, while Puletua grabbed two more tries to complete a well-earned hat-trick.

He showed strength to score the second, and pounced on Ryan McGoldrick‘s handling error for the third.

Ade Gardner added a fifth score two minutes later after superb work from Matt Gidley, before Jon Wilkin scored an easy brace, following up his own kick for the first and then speeding through a gap for his second.

Sean Long goaled five of the first seven tries to give Saints an easy 38-0 lead.

The Tigers did grab a consolation as they began a brief spell of resilience either side of half-time, but by that time the game had gone and it was more a case of keeping the score relatively respectable.

Michael Shenton got the Tigers first score of the day, and then Mitchell Sargent reached over for their second at the start of the second half, as Cas came out with a bit of spirit, determined to rectify their defence.

But Saints seemed to score at ease and Bryn Hargeaves broke the 40-point barrier.

Kirk Dixon‘s score was arguably one of the best tries of the game, Ryan McGoldrick showing the defence a clean set of heels before passing to the supporting Dixon for a superb score.

Puletua grabbed his fourth try of the game, and while Sione Faumuina did give Terry Matterson’s men another try to make the scoreline seemingly more respectable, their defence fell apart again in the final ten minutes as super Saints ran in a further three scores.

Wilkin completed his hat-trick after 70 minutes, before Maurie Fa’asavalu and Leon Pryce – who suffered stick from the home fans all afternoon – grabbed the twelfth, giving him something to smile about, completing matters.

Castleford:

T: Michael Shenton (38), Mitchell Sargent (47), Kirk Dixon (56), Sione Faumuina (66)

G: Kirk Dixon (39,47,66)

St Helens:
T: Tony Puletua (2,14,16,59), Leon Pryce (6,74), Ade Gardner (18), Jon Wilkin (24,33,70), Bryn Hargreaves (52), Maurie Fa’asavalu (72)

G: Sean Long (2,15,17,25,33,52,59,70,72,74)

Att: 8,003

Ref: I Smith

HT: 6-38

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