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Saints Get Off To Perfect Start

Saints got their Betfred Super League campaign off to a flyer with a 46-6 win over Castleford Tigers.

Mark Percival bagged a hat-trick whilst Ben Barba took the headlines with a superb performance.

He scored two and had a hand in several others as Saints gained some revenge for their semi-final defeat.

Saints had the job done in the first half as they led 22-0.

Barba scored within the first five minutes and then Jon Wilkin combined with the fullback to put Zeb Taia over.

And 25 minutes in it got better as Barba’s kick was acrobatically tipped back on the deadball line by Alex Walmsley for Lomax to touch down.

An amazing bit of skill for a prop that stands at 6 ft 5.

Two minutes later it was 22-0.

Lomax hammered home a 40-20 and on the resultant set, the ball found its away to Mark Percival who muscled his way over.

Richardson kicking his third conversion of the night.

Castleford showed that they weren’t going to go away by having a sustained period of pressure on the Saints’ line early in the second half.

But the home side weathered the storm and then extended their lead on 53 minutes.

Back to back drop outs gave Holbrook’s men the opportunity and Percival then showed great strength again for his second of the night.

Kyle Amor saw yellow for interference as the game reached its hour mark and Cas profited through Paul McShane.

But Saints wrestled back any sort of momentum with another try.

Firstly, Wilkin returned to the field to put in a big defensive stint and then Barba pulled off a wonder tackle on Greg Eden.

From there, Theo Fages found Taia and he duly turned it back inside for Barba’s second.

A super try straight from the training field.

Taia scored his second as he ran on a fine line from Fages’ ball and then Saints saved the best until last.

Saints moved the ball at speed from within their own half, Barba produced a stunning arced run and went 50 metres before he turned it back inside for Percival’s hat-trick.

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Holbrook was pleased with Saints 46-6 win over Castleford.

“The boys were fantastic tonight and we got off to a great start,” he said. “Everyone will get better as the year moves on and I’m sure Castleford will be disappointed. But from our end we couldn’t have asked for any more.

“We didn’t expect to win with that scoreline of course. You’re always confident with your pre-season but when round one comes you know you have to perform and tonight we did.”

He continued: “Ben (Barba) was really good, especially when we were down to 12 men and he came up with that big tackle. Then, on the very next set he scores a try too. Special players produce special plays and he did two in two minutes. He was fantastic.

“I didn’t predict he would have such a good night but I always said he would produce some of the things he would do. He has had a good pre-season and came back two-and-a-half weeks earlier too. If you do those sort of things you get the rewards don’t you?

“Jonny (Lomax) was outstanding in that first half. He got that left edge firing and then slotted in nicely when we lost Ryan Morgan at half time. Theo Fages didn’t miss a beat either.

“It was tough to leave Matty Smith out and couple of other goo dplayers but the 17 delivered for us. It was tough to do that; Matty is a competitor and wants to play. He has a great attitude and I’m sure he will keep rocking on.”

 

Match Summary:

Saints:
Tries: Barba (2), Taia (2), Lomax, Percival (3),
Goals: Richardson (7 from 8)

Tigers:
Tries: McShane
Goals: Gale (1 from 1)

Penalties Awarded:
Saints: 9
Tigers: 5

HT: 22-0
FT: 46-6

REF: J Child

ATT: 13,108

Teams:

Saints:
23. Ben Barba; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3, Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 19. Regan Grace; 1. Jonny Lomax, 18. Danny Richardson; 10. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin.
Subs: 6. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles.

Tigers:
1. Ben Roberts; 2. Greg Minikin, 3. Jake Webster, 4. Michael Shenton, 5. Greg Eden; 21. Jake Trueman, 7. Luke Gale; 8. Junior Moors, 9. Paul McShane, 22. James Green, 11. Oliver Holmes, 12. Mike McMeeken, 14. Nathan Massey.
Subs: 10. Grant Millington, 13. Adam Milner, 15. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 18. Matt Cook.

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