Saints eager to maintain proud home record against Castleford
Same again! That the message from boss Justin Holbrook as he urges his table-topping Saints to turn on a performance against Castleford Tigers at the Totally Wicked on Friday to match their 34-14 victory at Warrington six days earlier.
“The approach will be exactly the same,” said Holbrook who will be hoping to lower the Tigers’ colours for the fourth time this year and also end the 30-match Super League regular season with 26 wins under their belts
But he will be treating fellow semi-finalists and last year’s Grand Final runners-up with the respect they deserve and fully aware that the West Yorkshire outfit will cross the Pennines oozing with self-confidence after winning their last five league fixtures.
“They looked a little disappointed with how the game against Wakefield panned out last week, even though they won 42-10, so they’ll want a hard hit out before they play Wigan in next week’s semi-final,” said Holbrook.
“They’ve been a dangerous attacking team for a few years now and they have some real strike out there. They also have a big mobile pack but it’s up to us to do a good job and stop them.”
Castleford’s record at St Helens, however, is far from impressive and they haven’t won at either Knowsley Road, or the Totally Wicked Stadium during the summer era.
The closest they came to a summer victory at Saints’ old home was a 32-32 draw on September 13, 1998.
Tigers have also lost at Anfield (1997), Widnes (2011) and nine times at the Totally Wicked Stadium since 2012 and one has to turn back the clock more than a quarter of a century to discover the last time they won on their rival’s ground - a 12-8 third round Regal Trophy triumph on December 19, 1992. Their last league win was 29-16 on October 21, 1990.
But that’s all history - and Cas boss Daryl Powell will not be over-awed by the embarrassing record, or the task in front of the Tykes..
He said: “We know it will be a tough game but we are really looking forward to the challenge and want to make sure our combinations are really strong ahead of the following week’s semi-final at Wigan.
“Saints have a good team, have been pretty consistent all year, and this is partly due to not experiencing many injuries.”
LAST 10 MEETINGS
Castleford 18, St Helens 40 (SLR16, 24/5/18)
Castleford 18, St Helens 36 (CCR6, 12/5/18)
St Helens 46, Castleford 6 (SLR1, 2/2/18)
Castleford 23, St Helens 22 (SLSF, 28/9/17)
Castleford 12, St Helens 26 (SLS8-R1, 3/8/17)
Castleford 16, St Helens 12 (SLR17, 4/6/17)
Castleford 53, St Helens 10 (CCR6, 13/5/17)
St Helens 26, Castleford 22 (SLR10, 17/4/17)
St Helens 40, Castleford 16 (SLS8-R5, 8/9/16)
Castleford 20, St Helens 30 (SLR13, 1/5/16)