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
Thu 26th Mar
Salford Red Devils36 - 8Widnes Vikings
Fri 27th Mar
Castleford Tigers20 - 14Hull FC
Hull K R24 - 22St Helens
Warrington Wolves10 - 29Huddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors52 - 10Wakefield Wildcats
Sat 28th Mar
Catalans Dragons22 - 38Leeds Rhinos
Thu 2nd Apr
Hull FCvsHull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Fri 3rd Apr
Castleford TigersvsLeeds Rhinos
Wigan WarriorsvsSt Helens
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Mon 6th Apr
Warrington WolvesvsCastleford Tigers
Hull K R0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Wigan Warriors
St Helens0 - 0Hull FC
Catalans DragonsvsWidnes Vikings
Fri 10th Apr
Hull FCvsWidnes Vikings
Sat 11th Apr
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Castleford TigersvsHull K R
Sun 12th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0St Helens
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Apr
Wigan WarriorsvsWarrington Wolves
Fri 17th Apr
St HelensvsLeeds Rhinos
Sun 19th Apr
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield WildcatsvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds RhinosvsWarrington Wolves
St Helens0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans DragonsvsHull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Hull FC0 - 0Hull K R
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Wigan Warriors
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