Both teams came into the match off narrow losses in round 6 - with Saints’ loss to Huddersfield the most surprising. But who would bounce back the strongest?
It was the hosts looked impressive in the first 10 minutes and opened the scoring on 11 minutes. Pressing the Saints line, they moved the ball left to right while less than 10m out. When it reached centre Peter Mata’utia he crashed forward and over the line.
Despite the attentions of three tacklers who turned him onto his back, he reached over his head and grounded the ball. Danny Richardson converted against his former team and the Tigers opened a 6-0 lead.
Less than 10 minutes later, Derrell Olpherts moved the score into double figures.
Pressing the line again after a penalty on 19 minutes, Richardson passed the ball to full-back Jordan Rankin. And as the Saints defence moved infield to cover, he moved the ball out wide for Olpherts to jog through empty space and dot the ball down in the corner.
This time, Richardson kicked across the face of the goal from just inside the field. The champions trailed 10-0.
The next action came when Saints interchange player Matty Leeswas sin-binned on 29 minutes for a high tackle on the Castleford full back as he collected a kick.
Three minutes later, Cas made the one-man advantage tell. Olpherts - again - crossed in the corner, as Johnny Lomax pushed him into touch. But a quick check with the video ref showed that the Tigers winger kept his legs and body in the air as he touched down, confirming Liam Moore’s onfield decision of a try.
Richardson kicked across the goal again and Cas led 14-0.
But Saints hd the last word of thehalf, with Tommy Makinson sprinting down the line and resisting Jake Trueman’s tackle to grab his first try of the season in the corner. He failed to nail the conversion though, and the game broke for half time with a 14-4 score.
The visitors put pressure on after the break. Then, just three minutes in, Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook repeated Lees’ rest in the sin bin after a late and high tackle on Richardson after the scrum-half had kicked down field.
But the hosts failed to take advantage and it St Helen kept the pressure on while their forward was off the field.
But almost immediately after he returned to the field, the Tigers stretched their lead to 18-4 as centre turned second rower Cheyse Blair charged through three defenders for an unconverted try.
And when James Roby was blown up for a high tackle on Trueman on 63 minutes, Cas opted to kick the penalty and Richardson took the lead out to 20-4.
Minutes later, he repeated the exercise after Morgan Knowles was penalised for a flop on Liam Watts, in front of the post and 20m out. The scoreboard rolled over to 22-4.
Jack Wellsby gave St Helens a glimmer of hope when he crossed in the corner for an unconverted try and a 22-8 score.
Two minutes later, though, Cas hooker McShane was first to a loose St Helens ball and hacked it forward for Trueman to score under the posts. Richardson Duly converted and the home team sat on a 28-8 score.
But the visitors had the last word, just to remind the crowd of the “never write off Saints” cliche.
Alex Walmesly broke the line and passed to his fellow prop Luke Thompson who ran through to put the ball down under the posts. With Makinson’s conversion, that meant a final score of 28-14.
And next. Well that’s down to whatever the next measures the government announces to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
Castleford: Rankin; Clare, Shenton, Mata’utia (T), Olpherts (2T); Trueman (T), Richardson (4G(2P)); Watts, McShane, Griffin, Blair (T), McMeeken, Massey.
Interchange: Millington, Milner, Sene-Lefao, D Smith.
St Helens: Coote; Grace, Welsby, Naiqama, Makinson (T, G); Lomax, Fages; zwalmsley, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles.
Interchange: McCarthy-Scarsbrooke, Lees (T), Amor, A Smith.
Referee: Liam Moore.
Half time: 14-4.
Full time: 28-14.