|12th Jun 2009|| Super League||HOME||9680||HT:20-6|
|MATCH NOTES : Saints completed a league double over Castleford, notching up an impressive 118 points in the two games.|
|Age in brackets is at time of match - Total average age for this team is 26. - ** non-playing sub|
MATCH REPORT : BREATHTAKING attacking play saw Saints overwhelm Castleford Tigers 50-10 to remain top of Super League. The home side weathered an early Castleford scare to race to a 20-6 half time lead. Brett Ferres touched down after just five minutes, but tries from Leon Pryce, Chris Dean, Keiron Cunningham and Jon Wilkin put them in the strongest possible position at the interval. It was no more than they deserved after some scintillating scores. In the second half, more Castleford pressure brought points, but Saints were never going to let this one go. Rampant attacking play saw the excellent Jonny Lomax and Kyle Eastmond score, before further scores from Paul Clough and Eastmond sealed a deserved victory.
Saints went into the match missing two pivotal players - James Graham and James Roby - whilst Ade Gardner was not quite ready to return from a shoulder injury. Gary Wheeler and Jake Emmitt both played in the reserves 58-6 win over the Tigers so that meant a call up for Chris Dean in the centres and Tony Puletua moved up the pack to the front row alongside Bryn Hargreaves. Joe Westerman and Ryan Shenton were also in France with England, forcing Castleford coach Terry Matterson into several changes and a debut on the bench for young Jordan Thompson.
Jonny Lomax was called into action as early as the third minute to deal with a tricky looking bomb that he defused with ease. But Castleford won the ball back within a couple of tackles and began to put some pressure on the Saints line. Richard Owen jinked through then, after some more excellent handling skills, Brett Ferres opened the Cas account. Kirk Dixon with the conversion. Leon Pryce then pinged the Tigers back with a cute looking kick but moments later Wellens was called on to make a copybook tackle to quell a certain try. Perhaps it was the kick the Saints needed as within minutes they were level. Sean Long the architect he used the space well to set up Pryce for his 16th of the season. Long converting with ease. From the restart Saints were on fire. Bryn Hargreaves held off several would be tacklers before sending a nice looking ball to a flying Lee Gilmour. Gilly weaved in and out before finding Long who then found Chris Dean to put Saints ahead. A superb 70 yard move. Long hitting the post with the conversion. Moments later, Chris Flannery was adjudged to have knocked on over the line and then Dean was called for a forward pass when Meli went over. But Saints were back in Castleford territory as quickly as they left with Long kicking an excellent 40:20 on 22 minutes to gain field position. It was no surprise when from dummy half Cunningham hit the line running and bounced over for his fourth of 2009. Long hitting the post once more with the conversion. Jon Wilkin bounced off a couple of tackles to bring up Saintsí fourth try and put them totally in control of the match. Long with his second two-pointer of the day.
Half Time: Saints 20 Castleford 6
From the restart Saints almost scored when Wilkin and Fa asavalu combined to nearly go the full length of the field. However Castleford made them pay when Dixon out-jumped Meli to touch down. Seconds later they tried the same trick in the opposite corner, but Sean Long was more than equal to the task. And on 53 minutes, the superb Long stretched Saints lead further when he finished off a fine move under the posts, and then added his third conversion of the game. Paul Clough nearly scored seconds later but was just held up short and when the ball was moved right from the tackle, Lomax added his second in as many games. Eastmond converted off the touchline with the conversion. Seconds later man-of-the-match Lomax was scampering down the wing and feeding Eastmond for yet another try with Kyle converting his own try. Cloughie added a bullocking score of his own late on, then Gilmour fed Eastmond as Saints hit 50 points and continued their winning streak.
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