Castleford 6-24 St Helens: Five takeaways as Saints show why they are world champions

Alex Walmsley St Helens Saints PA Credit: Alamy
Alex Walmsley St Helens Saints PA Credit: Alamy

Following a 24-6 win for world champions Saints over Castleford, here are our five takeaways from the match at the Jungle.

Super Saints back up World Club Challenge win

Many questioned whether Paul Wellens’ side would be able to back up their impressive World Club Challenge victory, having only arrived back in England earlier this week.

But they continued their winning fashion and showed exactly why they are world champions.

It wasn’t the best Saints performance we’ll see this season, and you could tell a couple of players were fatigued, as expected, but they got the win as they always do.

A champion side can win ugly at any time, and that’s exactly what they are.

Castleford’s missed chances

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a side who missed as many clear cut chances as Castleford today.

The Tigers could have been 18-0 up within the first quarter, but they just couldn’t execute those chances.

Although Castleford will be disappointed not to have won the game, they can actually take quite a few positives from the performance. They created the chances but the final product just wasn’t there.

Big Al

A number of Saints players stepped up and back up last weekend’s historic victory in Australia.

But one that stood out in particular is 6ft 5in prop Alex Walmsley, who scored two tries on the day.

The metres he makes up are just unbelievable. It takes three or four defenders to bring him down at a time. He’s been one of Super League’s best front-rowers for many years now.

Impressive Channel 4

How good is it to have Super League on free-to-air TV again in 2023?!

I think it’s just a big positive for our game in general to be covered from a range of broadcasters like Channel 4, Sky Sports, ViaPlay and the BBC.

Jamaica international and Huddersfield utility Ashton Golding was superb on punditry duties. Danika Priim and Kyle Amor also provided plenty of fascinating insights as usual.

A big crowd at the Jungle

There were more than 10,000 on at the Jungle for Castleford’s first home game of the season.

It is another impressive figure to go along with the other positive attendances in Super League.

It’s been a strong start to the season on the attendances front.

How it happened

  • Castleford had a couple of chances to score in the opening quarter but failed to execute.

  • 24′ Jack Welsby opens the scoring after a number of Castleford missed chances. Mark Percival converts. (0-6)

  • HT: 0-6

  • 47′ St Helens winger Tee Ritson scores his first Super League try. Percival converts. (0-12)

  • 50′ Jack Broadbent scores penalty try for Castleford after Welsby tackled him high before he went over. Gareth Widdop converts. (6-12)

  • 65′ Alex Walmsley latches onto Welsby grubber to extend Saints’ lead. Percival converts. (6-18)

  • 71′ Walmsley steamrolls through Cas defence to get his second. Jonny Lomax converts. (6-24)

  • 75′ Bureta Faraimo thought he scored for the Tigers but it was ruled out by the video referee due to his arm being in touch.

  • FT: 6-24

How they lined-up

Castleford: Evalds; Faraimo, Broadbent, Turner, Mamo; Widdop, Miller; Griffin, McShane, Vete, Edwards, Mellor, Lawler. Subs: Mustapha, Milner Watts, Robb.

Tries: Broadbent Goals: Widdop 1

St Helens: Welsby; Ritson, Hurrell, Percival, Bennison; Lomax, Dodd; Walmsley, Lussick, Lees, Mata’utia, Bell, Knowles. Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Wingfield, Norman, Royle. 

Tries: Welsby, Ritson, Walmsley (2) Goals: Percival 3, Lomax 1

What they said

Castleford coach Lee Radford said: “We can take some comfort in the amount of opportunities we created, but executing them just didn’t happen for us today. The bit we’ve got to show up in as a team when you are in an arm wrestle. We weren’t in the arm wrestle for a sustained period but that’s why they’ve put four rings on their fingers through mastering that and that’s for everybody else in the competition to catch up.”

St Helens coach Paul Wellens said: “Obviously there has been a lot of talk about what we achieved last week and its something we are immensely proud of but I thought in some ways this victory is equally as important to set a standard of what we want to achieve in 2023.”

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