Home team Score Away Team

Castleford

  • Ferres (2),
    Goals: Dixon (2),
12 - 18

St Helens

  • Gardner, Meli, Shenton, Soliola,
    Goals: Roby,
  • Super League
  • 9th Apr 2012
  • KO 15:30
  • Att: 6,492

Saints win comes at a cost

Rush and Cunningham make it three wins from four outings

Last updated: 9th April 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Tony Puletua St Helens

Tony Puletua: The second-rower also picked up a serious-looking injury

Ade Gardner St Helens celebrating a try against Leeds Rhinos

Ade Gardner (C): Scored one of Saints four tries before going off injured

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St Helens ground out a hard-fought 18-12 win over the Castleford Tigers at the PROBIZ Coliseum, but their success came at a cost as Tony Puletua and Ade Gardner were both forced off with serious-looking injuries.

Tries from Gardner, Sia Soliola, Michael Shenton and Francis Meli proved just about enough to overcome a spirited home side, who scored twice through Brett Ferres and made light of the absence of six first teamers with a courageous display.

Saints have now won three out of four under the caretaker stewardship of Mike Rush and Keiron Cunningham, yet they will be sweating on news of Puletua, who made an early exit holding his left arm, and Gardner.

The latter was clearly in pain as he left the field on a stretcher at the beginning of the second half, having come off worse after contesting a high ball with Josh Griffin.

The result ended Castleford's two match winning run, but, with so many players unavailable, coach Ian Millward will surely be proud of their display against one of his former clubs.

There was little to separate the two teams in a keenly-contested opening period. St Helens made a strong start and Lance Hohaia was stopped narrowly short of the line after a superb 40-20 from James Roby in the opening minute. Yet the visitors were guilty of a number of handling errors thereafter, which allowed Castleford to enjoy a spell of pressure.

After Puletua had been forced off, Saints roused themselves and Gardner came close to crossing following fine work from Hohaia and Soliola.

Deadlock broken

The Tigers remained a threat, with Adam Milner excelling on his return to the side, but it was Gardner who broke the deadlock, the vastly-experienced winger going over in the corner after Gary Wheeler's initial break had opened up a gap.

Castleford briefly turned the tables, Dixon converting a Ferres try that had been laid on by Ryan McGoldrick.

But Saints hit back almost immediately, the powerful Soliola collecting a short pass from the impressive Roby before burrowing over.

Wheeler missed a second attempt at goal and was guilty of further errors; he had a kick charged down and also knocked on.

Yet a dazzling break from the half-back almost led to a third Saints try, before Castleford rallied again and saw Jonathan Walker held up over the line.

There was another blow for the away side at the start of the second half when Gardner was carried off after his collision.

Castleford's first half efforts appeared to be catching up with them, however, and when they coughed up possession cheaply inside their own half, Shenton burst through to make it 12-6, Wheeler once again failing with the resulting conversion attempt.

Meli looked to have made the game safe soon after as he intercepted McGoldrick's pass before sprinting the length of the field for his side's fourth score.

Roby took over kicking duties and made no mistake, but Saints were forced to endure one last flourish from Castleford, who reduced their arrears when Ferres crossed again after a concerted spell of home pressure.

The Tigers, roared on by an enthusiastic crowd, dominated the closing stages, but Saints held onto depart with the spoils.

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Super League Table

Super League Table - July 27 2014
Pos Team P Pts
1 St Helens 22 34
2 Leeds Rhinos 22 32
3 Wigan Warriors 22 30
4 Castleford Tigers 22 30
5 Warrington Wolves 22 28
6 Huddersfield Giants 22 28
7 Catalan Dragons 22 23
8 Widnes Vikings 22 21
9 Hull K R 22 20
10 Wakefield Wildcats 22 19
11 Salford Red Devils 22 17
12 Hull FC 22 16
13 Bradford Bulls * 22 4
14 London Broncos 22 0
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