St Helens 26 Castleford Tigers 22: Stunning Saints inflict a rare defeat on the Tigers

St Helen'  Matty Flemming  tackles Zak Hardaker, of Castleford. PIC: Chris Mangnall/SWpix.com
St Helen' Matty Flemming tackles Zak Hardaker, of Castleford. PIC: Chris Mangnall/SWpix.com
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St Helens produced a stunning performance to pull off a well-deserved 26-22 victory over Super League leaders Castleford.

Saints delivered a fine first-half display before holding off a spirited Tigers fightback to hand stand-in boss Jamahl Lolesi his first win since Keiron Cunningham’s departure.

Castleford tryscorer Ben Roberts. PIC: Chris Mangnall/SWpix.com

Castleford tryscorer Ben Roberts. PIC: Chris Mangnall/SWpix.com

Matty Fleming, Luke Douglas and Mark Percival all crossed as the hosts took a 20-8 lead into the interval, while Regan Grace’s try with 12 minutes left proved decisive.

Greg Eden and Ben Roberts both touched down twice for Castleford, who suffered only their second defeat of the campaign.

Castleford had made an impressive start with Eden touching down following Paul McShane’s kick, before Luke Gale added the conversion from the touchline.

St Helens had a golden chance to hit back minutes later but Fleming’s pass to Tommy Makinson went sailing into touch with a clear run to the line.

The home side did find the try they were searching for after 25 minutes as Fleming made amends from his earlier mistake by powering into the corner after good work from England centre Percival.

Percival hit the conversion from out wide and slotted over another a few minutes later after Douglas barged over the Castleford try line from close range.

It was 18-8 when Theo Fages dinked a delightful kick through for Percival to chase down before planting the ball down one handed.

The conversion was not a problem either and a further penalty just before the break gave Lolesi’s side a 12-point buffer. Castleford coach Daryl Powell got an immediate reaction from his half-time talk as Roberts spotted a gap in the Saints defensive line and had enough momentum to roll over the line.

Gale added the extras from in front of the uprights to put the visiting West Yorkshire side right back in it.

It took another 15 minutes for Castleford’s next effort but when it came Michael Shenton sent in Eden for his second try of the afternoon.

Gale missed his first goal of the game, leaving the Tigers two points behind.

Saints had chances to put themselves in the driving seat and Grace’s brilliant run ended with him being hauled down inches from the line.

But the winger was rewarded with his first Super League try of his career on the next phase as he crashed over in the corner.

Percival landed the pressure kick to effectively seal the game, but there was still time for Roberts to collect a consolation try with 23 seconds left.

Disgraced England star Zak Hardaker in action for Castleford Tigers. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

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