Jonny Lomax produced one of his finest performances in the red vee to lead Saints to a 40-18 win over Castleford.
He scored one and laid on several others as Justin Holbrook’s men stretched their advantage at the top of the Betfred Super League.
Ryan Morgan and Theo Fages both scored braces in the victory whilst Ben Barba pulled off another length of the field masterpiece.
But this was a 1 to 17 effort, with big displays from the pack too.
Saints led 22-4 after dominating the first half.
They scored on their first set through Kyle Amor and then took control after Mike McMeeken replied.
A sensational length of the field move had already seen Regan Grace halted in the far corner before Barba repeated his feat of the last meeting between the two sides.
Adam Swift knocked back a high ball, Barba picked it up and went the distance.
To be fair, this one was a little more spectacular than his Cup effort – the full back scooting around several defenders on his way to his 20th of the season.
Cas had one chalked off for a knock-on on 22 minutes before both Adam Swift and Dom Peyroux went close as Saints pressed.
It was a warning the Tigers didn’t heed though as once they’d given a penalty away for stepping off the mark, a lovely move saw Lomax ghost through.
And it got better as moments later Dom Peyroux stretched the advantage following a sweet pass from Lomax.
Saints were in command but it took an important tackle from Mark Percival on Greg Minikin to keep the line intact as the half came to a close.
Saints led by 18 at half time and within a couple of minutes of the second it was a 22 point game; Ryan Morgan continuing his rich try-scoring form as he exchanged passes with Adam Swift.
The centre then poached his second following a mazy run from Jonny Lomax – Theo Fages adding another from Regan Grace’s pass.
Cas hit back with three quick tries from Jy Hitchcox, Jake Trueman and Oliver Holmes but the flow was stemmed by another Lomax inspired try.
This time he dipped through the defence to send Fages in for his second – and the away fans home happy.
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) 25 May 2018
Saints Head Coach Justin Holbrook was pleased with Saints 40-18 win over Castleford on Thursday night.
“We knew it would be a hard game,” he said. “We came here two weeks ago, it was a tough game then and we knew we would get the same again. It was a huge performance from us and I am really happy.
“The tempo of first half was high and I thought we handled it well. I also thought we were sharp with the ball and that is credit to the players. In the past Benny gets a lot of the raps and rightly so, but I thought Jonny Lomax was fantastic tonight.
“He was a handful all night and had a great game for us. I am really pleased with how well he played.”
Holbrook reported that Ben Barba is fine after leaving the field with a knock in the second half – and then paid tribute to the fullback’s length of the field try.
“I thought Swift knocked it backwards and it then bounced forwards which is fine,” he added. “For Benny to do what he does; good players back themselves and I encourage him to do that. He is the player he is for reason and that was a great try.
“I was a good result but we know there is still work to do. There are plenty of good sides still in the comp. We won here two weeks ago and I thought we could still improve from there.
“We did that tonight and that is what we wanted to do and that is what we are working hard to do.”
Tries: McMeeken, Hitchcox, Trueman, Holmes,
Goals: Ellis (1 from 4)
Tries: Amor, Barba, Lomax, Peyroux, Morgan (2), Fages (2)
Goals: Richardson (4 from 8)
REF: C Kendall
4. Michael Shenton; 2. Greg Minikin, 17. Alex Foster, 1. Ben Roberts, 24. Jy Hitchcox; 6. Jamie Ellis, 21. Jake Trueman; 32. Liam Watts, 9. Paul McShane, 15. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 11. Oliver Holmes, 12. Mike McMeeken, 13. Adam Milner.
Subs: 8. Junior Moors, 10. Grant Millington, 14. Nathan Massey, 18. Matt Cook.
23. Ben Barba; 5. Adam Swift, 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, 14. Luke Douglas 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 15. Morgan Knowles.