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St Helens continue title charge as they blow away Castleford Tigers

Castleford Tigers are a week removed from defeating Wakefield Trinity in what perhaps their most important game of the season so far, but tonight they welcomed Super League champions St Helens with the Red Vee on an impressive run of form and running level with Wigan Warriors.

All eyes were on Belle Vue last week for Danny Ward’s first match in charge of the Tigers and they managed to edged out their relegation rivals Wakefield to lift themselves two points clear in the battle to survive.

As for Paul Wellens’ side they made it four wins in a row with a comfortable win over Hull KR and a fifth consecutive league win tonight will put them on good course for a fifth consecutive Grand Final win.

The Tigers have made plenty of mid season signings with squad numbers reaching up to 46 this year but surprisingly the owner of that shirt, Blake Austin, doesn’t feature tonight with Ward making four changes to last week’s winning side.

Joe Westerman moves from loose forward into the halves with Jacob Miller whilst the impressive Charbel Tasipale and Liam Horne start after starring last week. The Tigers also made a late change with Sam Hall replacing Suaia Matagi, Brad Martin stepping into the role of 18th man.

For Saints they’ve been having an injury crisis in their forward pack but young George Delaney has risen to the occasion admirably, cementing the starting prop spot for himself.

He starts again tonight as Paul Wellens names an unchanged 17 from the victory over Hull KR meaning that centre Konrad Hurrell was unable to return from his injury.

It took Saints ten minutes to get on the scoreboard but from that point onwards they were dominant with Mark Percival opening the scoring for the Red Vee after ten minutes courtesy of smart wing play by Tommy Makinson.

Makinson then got on the score sheet himself eight minutes later after Saints made the most of some good territory allowing the winger to touch down in the corner.

The 25 minute mark saw Jon Bennison get in on the action and the score stretch to 16-0 and seemingly out of Castleford’s reach within the half hour mark.

Mark Percival then knocked the conversion over to mark a personal achievement of 1,000 points for St Helens, a major milestone for the centre.

Joe Batchelor was then played in by Jack Welsby as Saints continued their march before Makinson added his second before the half to make it 30-0.

It wasn’t long into the second half before Saints got back on the scoreboard again and that came through Jonny Lomax who was the beneficiary of a brilliant move with Welsby finding Percival, out to Makinson and then back inside for the half back Lomax.

Percival missed that conversion and Saints kept quiet for the following 15 minutes before eventually conceding to Jordan Turner who scored in the corner following a set on Saints line.

That made the match 34-4 and with Sam Royle sent to the sin bin for laying on in the tackle it offered Castleford an opportunity to add more points in the final ten minutes.

Unfortunately for Castleford they couldn’t capitalise on their man advantage with no points scored in the final ten which saw St Helens finish up as 34-4 winners, jumping ahead of Wigan into second and pulling clear of fourth placed Leigh Leopards.

As for Castleford they remain two points clear of Wakefield who also lost so their fate remains in their hands currently.

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