Super League: Castleford Tigers 4-34 St Helens - Slick Saints move into second after emphatic win

Betfred Super League

Castleford (0) 4

Tries: Turner

St Helens (30) 34

Tries: Percival, Makinson 2, Bennison, Batchelor, Lomax Goals: Percival 5

St Helens moved up to second in Super League after cruising to an emphatic 34-4 win over Castleford Tigers.

Saints stuttered early on before Mark Percival raced clear for the opening try on the night the centre racked up 1,000 career points for the club.

The floodgates opened in a ruthless 12-minute first-half spell in which the visitors scored three times and extended their lead from 12-0 to 30-0.

Jordan Turner dived over to give Cas a consolation try against his old club.

Brilliant defending from Saints thwarted initial pressure from Cas, but centre Will Tate's return for the home side was short-lived as he limped off with injury.

Trademark crisp passing from winger Tommy Makinson then fed Percival down the right, and he sped away for his 100th top-flight try.

The creator then turned scorer as Joe Batchelor's tidy offload helped Makinson squeeze through and crash over.

Cas thought they had prevented a score when Jack Welsby's jinking run was halted, only for Saints to reset and shift the ball quickly to Jon Bennison, who made it comfortable at 16-0.

The resultant conversion brought up 1,000 career points for Percival, but he barely had time to celebrate before kicking again after Batchelor went over for Saints' second try in three minutes.

Cas hearts sunk when Makinson effectively put the game to bed by making it a brace from Welsby's fizzed long ball, and Paul Wellens' side understandably took their foot off the gas in the second half, allowing Turner to spare some blushes and end Saints' hope of a clean sheet.

Percival ended up with 1,004 career points - his only missed conversion followed yet another carving open of Cas, which allowed Jonny Lomax to easily fall over the line.

And in a scrappy finish to the game with few breakthroughs in play, Saints second-row Sam Royle was sent to the sin-bin for holding a man down in the tackle.

Castleford Tigers head coach Danny Ward told BBC Radio Leeds:

"I'm very disappointed. Losing at home by 30 points is not acceptable. The boys are feeling that in the dressing room.

"There were a lot of areas I was happy with. I didn't think the score reflected it at half-time.

"It's St Helens - you make a couple of mistakes with the ball and they punish you - they showed their class."

St Helens head coach Paul Wellens told BBC Radio Merseyside:

"I was really pleased, particularly with the first 40 minutes. I thought we were outstanding.

"It is always particularly pleasing when you absorb periods of pressure and then go down the other end and score.

"It is almost a bit of a sucker punch and I think we landed a couple of those tonight."

Castleford: Widdop; Wallis, Tasipale, Turner, Tate; Westerman, Miller; Watts, Horne, Griffin, Mellor, Edwards, Lawler.

Interchanges: Hall, Johnstone, Foster, Tsikrikas.

St Helens: Welsby; Makinson, Davies, Percival, Bennison; Lomax, Dodd; Knowles, Roby, Delaney, Mata'utia, Batchelor, Bell.

Interchanges: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Norman, Royle, Mbye.

Sin-bin: Royle (70).

Referee: Aaron Moore.