Super League: St Helens stay perfect after edging out Castleford
Last Updated: 11/04/14 11:00pm
St Helens maintained their perfect Super League record in the most dramatic style as an incredible comeback saw them defeat Castleford 30-28.
The Tigers, who themselves had won six of their first seven league fixtures, were in total control for the majority of the clash at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle but came unstuck late on.
Tries from Grant Millington and Jake Webster plus a double from Michael Shenton had put Castleford 18 points up at half-time.
Justin Carney added a fifth try after the break but Jonny Lomax and Tommy Makinson started the Saints rally before Jordan Turner, Paul Wellens and Adam Swift all scored in the final 13 minutes to complete an amazing turnaround.
Wellens' role in the victory was especially fitting as it came on his record-breaking 414th Super League appearance, which he marked by scoring the 1,000th point of his career.
But Saints could hardly have made a worse start, with the returning Jon Wilkin knocking-on from the kick-off and Castleford scoring their first try inside their first set of tackles.
Centre Webster set the scoreboard rolling by taking Daryl Clark's short pass to go through the visitors' defence unopposed and Marc Sneyd kicked the first of his four goals.
The Tigers were well on top and Carney was denied by the video referee for a knock-on but turned provider on 11 minutes when he collected Liam Finn's high kick to send Shenton over.
A grubber kick from Sneyd then bounced awkwardly for Saints and created a try for loose forward Millington. Sneyd's third conversion made it 18-0.
It ought to have been more but prop Craig Huby lost the ball going over the line and Saints clawed their way into the game when Sia Soliola took Wilkin's pass to power his way over the line.
Luke Walsh's goal made it 18-6 but the Tigers struck again nine minutes before half-time when Shenton scooped up a wayward pass from Turner to sprint away unopposed for his second try.
Castleford left the field at half-time to a standing ovation but skipper Wellens, unused throughout the first 40 minutes, led his team out for the start of the second half to break Keith Senior's appearance record.
The Tigers had a third try disallowed when full-back Luke Dorn was ruled to have benefited from obstruction and Saints struck immediately with two tries in seven minutes to give themselves a glimmer of hope.
Full-back Lomax took a return pass from Josh Jones to touch down out wide before Makinson produced a spectacular flying finish, the video referee ruling he had grounded the ball cleanly by the corner post.
Walsh had the misfortune to strike the woodwork attempting to convert both tries to leave his side trailing by 10 points and Castleford looked to have killed the game off just before the hour mark when Carney won the race to Sneyd's kick to the corner.
However, Turner collected Wilkin's kick on 67 minutes to start the fightback, Wellens finished off a thrilling crossfield move and Swift gathered Wilkin's pass to grab the winner four minutes from the end.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield WildcatsvsHull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Super League 2014, round eight
Tony Rea praises the uber-experienced Paul Wellens and Jamie Peacock in his Super League review.
Catalan Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous hailed the performance of Elliott Whitehead in the 42-20 win over Widnes.
Elliott Whitehead helped himself to a hat-trick of tries as Catalan Dragons eased past Widnes 42-20 in Perpignan.
- Peacock proud of milestone
- Brown applauds Wellens effect
- Sandercock - Very pleasing
- Opening salvo pleases Harris
- Wane unhappy with attitude
- Wigan too strong for Broncos
- Rhinos make Wildcats suffer
- Wolves exposed by sharp Rovers
- Devils race seven past Bulls
- Dragons v Vikings: Teams
- Lynch relishes Saints test
- Radford praise for forwards
- Giants see Black and White
- Saints boss praises Tigers
- Warriors v Broncos: Teams
- Wolves v Rovers: Teams
- Rhinos v Wildcats: Teams
- Tigers v Saints: Teams
- Bulls v Red Devils: Teams
- Pivotal game for Hull, Giants
- Hull v Giants: Teams
- Charnley out for two months