St Helens 26-12 Castleford: Player ratings and major talking points

Despite trailing 12-6 at the break, St Helens masterfully turned things around at Wembley in the second half to end their wait for Challenge Cup glory. Second half scores from James Roby, Tommy Makinson and Kyle Amor turned the game around for the Saints allowing them to claim a first Challenge Cup for 13 years. We shouldn’t forget Castleford, however. The Tigers gave it a good go and on another day could’ve won.

Major Talking Points:

1. Fullback battle for the ages

I cannot recall a game in which the two number ones impressed me so much. In a Super League season dominated by the Tomkins-Hardaker-Connor discussion, two fullbacks not given the credit they deserve starred in today’s classic cup final. Lachlan Coote re-wrote the wrongs of 2019 with an accomplished performance. He kicked well, led his side masterfully and did everything you want to see your fullback do on the biggest stage. Without him I don’t think Saints would have won. But spare a thought for Lance Todd Trophy Winner Niall Evalds. The Cas number one was scintillating and ripped Saints open again and again. He didn’t deserve to lose.

2. That James Roby try

Cas fans will forever look back on James Roby’s try as the game breaking moment. It breathed new life into the Saints after they’d been dominated in the first half and from there the Tigers never really recovered. In the letter of the law it was probably the right decision. However, plenty of Cas fans and one or two neutrals will ask if a try should be allowed when someone in the move has leapt from touch to handle the ball.

3. Subs the difference

To win trophies you need a bench that’s as good as your starting 13 and St Helens certainly have that. It was their substitutes who changed the game. Agnatius Paasi’s power and explosivity off the bench saw him rip through the Tigers’ middle again and again. Meanwhile, Jack Welsby came on and created the winning try for Tommy Makinson. The youngster is going to be some player one day.

Player Ratings:

St Helens
1 Lachlan Coote – 8
2 Tommy Makinson – 7
3 Kevin Naiqama – 6
4 Mark Percival – 7
5 Regan Grace – 7
6 Jonny Lomax – 8
7 Theo Fages – 6
8 Alex Walmsley – 8
9 James Roby – 7
15 Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook – 6
11 Joel Thompson – 6
20 Joe Batchelor – 7
13 Morgan Knowles – 7
10 Matty Lees – 6
16 Kyle Amor – 7
17 Agnatius Paasi – 9
18 Jack Welsby – 9

1 Niall Evalds – 9
2 Derrell Olpherts – 6
3 Peter Mata’utia – 8
4 Michael Shenton – 6
25 Jordan Turner – 6
6 Jake Trueman – 7
31 Gareth O’Brien – 7
15 George Griffin – 6
9 Paul McShane – 7
10 Grant Millington – 8
11 Oliver Holmes – 7
21 Jesse Sene-Lefao – 6
14 Nathan Massey – 6
8 Liam Watts – 6
13 Adam Milner – 6
17 Alex Foster – 6
22 Daniel Smith – 6

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1 year ago

What game were you watching?…….tigers #1 the best…..?…..RIDICULOUS