|22nd Apr 2022|| Super League||AWAY ||7649 ||(HT:14:0)|
|MATCH NOTES : At that time, this was the youngest ever Saints first team with an average age of 21.6 years.|
|Age in brackets is at time of match - Total average age for this team is 21. - ** non-playing sub|
MATCH REPORT : There were debuts for Jumah Sambou, Widnes signing, Danny Hill plus half back Daniel Moss whilst Lewis Baxter, Taylor Pemberton, George Delaney and McKenzie Buckley made their first Saints appearances from the ben. But it was the worst possible start for Saints as Cas took a first minute lead. Jason Qareqare made a break down the left wing and hurdled some Saints challenges to score in the corner. The try was awarded following a video referee review. Gareth O’Brien missed the kick, 4-0 Saints trailed. The hosts threatened again two minutes later, but Saints stood firm in defence and forced Derrell Olpherts into touch as he dove for the corner. Saints had a chance to hit-back as a high Ben Davies kick was dropped by James Clare in Castleford territory. Unfortunately for the young Red Vee side, Shay Martyn was pushed into touch as he dove for the corner so the score remained 4-0. The Tigers then threatened again and had numbers down their left-hand side, but Saints’ great scrambling defence stopped Mahe Fonua before he could ground the ball on the last tackle. Another Cas chance came and went, as a massive hit from James Bell forced O’Brien to fumble the ball as the hosts camped on the Saints line. It took until the 26th minute for Castleford to strengthen their lead. After being awarded a penalty on the Saints line they opted to run the ball, a couple of tackles in the ball was thrown from left to right and Olpherts finished in the corner. O’Brien missed the conversion, 8-0. The Cas lead was increased shortly before the interval. A break down the right-hand side this time gave the hosts extra numbers and Jake Trueman was able to stroll over after collecting a pass from the wing. Paul McShane converted, 14-0. CAS could have had one more try in the final minute of the first half as Qareqare tried a spectacular dive in the corner, but a massive (and we mean MASSIVE) hit from Ben Davies forced the winger into touch.
Castleford thought they had their fourth try at the start of the second half. More repeated pressure on the Saints line following a penalty saw Qareqare try to go over in the corner, however great scrambling defence from Sambou forced the winger into touch. The fourth Castleford try did follow in the 49th minute. A move from left to right ended with Olpherts going over in the right corner again. McShane missed the kick, 18-0. Saints did grab a hard-earned try in the 62nd minute. After continued pressure on the Cas line the ball was worked from left to right and on the last tackle Josh Simm got away a good offload to Jumah Sambou who finished Tommy Makinson esque in the corner! Shay Martyn missed the conversion, Saints trailed 18-4. Saints continued their momentum by adding a second try two minutes later and the fans loved it. Saints forced an error off the back of a great Daniel Moss kick, a few tackles after the error the ball was worked to Bell who fought hard and swivelled to score to the left of the sticks. Martyn converted, 18-10. But from the kick off, the hosts forced a Saints error and scrambling Saints defence was unable to stop a Liam Watts offload to Joe Westerman, who scored under the sticks. McShane converted, 24-10. The hosts added a sixth try as we entered the final ten minutes. Fonua cut back inside from the left wing and was able to score to the left of the sticks. McShane converted, 30-10. Saints could have had a third try in the final seconds as Bell threw a great cut-out pass to Martyn on the left wing, however the ball was knocked out of his hands as he dove for the line. That was to be the final play of the game, but it was a valiant effort and a night that will live long in the memory of our seven debutants.
Thanks to the Saints Media Centre for their excellent report.
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