Thursday 28th September 2017
KO: 19:45 - Round: Semi Final

23-22 FT

( 8-10 HT )

Attendance: 11,235

Official: J Child

Venue: The Mend-A-Hose Jungle

  • Castleford Tigers

  • Tries
    Zak Hardaker, Luke Gale, Adam Milner,

  • Goals
    Luke Gale 5,

  • Drop GoalsLuke Gale,

  • St Helens

  • Tries
    Regan Grace, Morgan Knowles, Tommy Makinson, Mark Percival, Ryan Morgan,

  • Goals
    Mark Percival,

  • Drop Goals

Official Report / Commentary

Luke Gale was the hero as Castleford Tigers held off a late fightback from St Helens to reach their first Grand Final.

Returning to the side just 16 days after having his appendix removed, the England scrum-half scored a try and kicked four goals to put his side into what appeared to be a winning 20-10 lead after 64 minutes.

However, in a dramatic finish to an outstanding semi-final, Saints roared back with three tries in the last 10 minutes to edge in front before Gale kept his nerve to kick a last-minute penalty to send the game into golden-point extra-time.

He then demonstrated more composure to land the winning drop goal that earned his side a 23-22 victory that set up a first all-Yorkshire final for 12 years.

Castleford, who will meet the winners of Friday's semi-final between Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC at Old Trafford on October 7, have become the seventh club to reach a Grand Final and will be favourites to become only the fifth team to win a title held by just four teams in the 21 years of Betfred Super League.

Zak Hardaker crossed inside the first minute and Gale converted before kicking a penalty to give Castleford an 8-0 lead.

But they trailed 10-8 at the break following tries from Regan Grace and Morgan Knowles, the latter's converted by Mark Percival. 

Gale and Adam Milner scored in quick succession to give the Tigers a cushion, only for Saints to come roaring back through Tommy Makinson, Percival and Ryan Morgan before the dramatic finale. 

On Gale, Castleford coach Daryl Powell said: "On Monday he was pretty sure, I just wanted to give him until Wednesday. He handled it pretty well.

"It was a phenomenal effort to get himself on the field in such a short space of time, although he might have hurt himself being dived on at the end.

"He held his nerve with the penalty and that drop goal was world class. To get it over over the top of onrushing defenders was pretty special."

Powell added: "It was such a crazy game. It was obviously really tight all the way through but we got a 10-point cushion and that should have been enough.

"But we were a little bit soft on our tryline. There were some disappointing things in there but it was unbelievable at the end and to come out on top in extra time is massive for us."

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook said: "It's really hard to take. It can be a cruel game at times - and it cost us.

"It will take some getting over. I'm obviously really proud of our boys, how we kept fighting, especially to come back in the second half."

  • 86: Goal scored for Castleford by Luke Gale
  • 80: GOAL! scored for Castleford by Luke Gale
  • 78: TRY! scored for St Helens by Ryan Morgan
  • 73: TRY! scored for St Helens by Mark Percival
  • 70: TRY! scored for St Helens by Tommy Makinson
  • 65: GOAL! scored for Castleford by Luke Gale
  • 64: TRY! scored for Castleford by Adam Milner
  • 58: GOAL! scored for Castleford by Luke Gale
  • 57: TRY! scored for Castleford by Luke Gale
  • 38: GOAL! scored for St Helens by Mark Percival
  • 37: TRY! scored for St Helens by Morgan Knowles
  • 16: TRY! scored for St Helens by Regan Grace
  • 8: GOAL! scored for Castleford by Luke Gale
  • 2: GOAL! scored for Castleford by Luke Gale
  • 1: TRY! scored for Castleford by Zak Hardaker
  • Key Performers

    Paul McShane

    Tackles 34
    Forty Twenty 1

    Ben Roberts

    Metres 144

    Adam Milner

    Tackles 34

    Luke Douglas

    Tackles 33

    Jon Wilkin

    Tackles 41

    James Roby

    Tackles 57

    Head to Head

    Tries:

    Castleford Tigers 3
    St Helens 5

    Goals:

    Castleford Tigers 5
    St Helens 1

    METRES:

    Castleford Tigers 1260
    St Helens 1442

    CARRIES:

    Castleford Tigers 201
    St Helens 192

    TACKLES:

    Castleford Tigers 328
    St Helens 343

    OFFLOADS:

    Castleford Tigers 18
    St Helens 6

    PENALTIES:

    Castleford Tigers 8
    St Helens 5

    BREAKS:

    Castleford Tigers 6
    St Helens 7

    Full Match Statistics

    Player T TA TK MT MI TB AT C M AG CB DR E FT G MG OF P
    Adam Milner 1 0 34 3 4 1 0 12 79 6.58 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
    Luke Gale 1 1 10 0 4 1 7 6 30 5.00 0 0 0 0 5 0 1 0
    Zak Hardaker 1 0 14 1 0 10 1 22 110 5.00 1 3 1 0 0 0 2 1
    Gadwin Springer 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Matthew Cook 0 0 22 11 1 0 0 6 44 7.33 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Grant Millington 0 0 38 8 3 0 0 11 73 6.64 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
    Junior Moors 0 0 28 6 2 2 0 17 106 6.24 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
    Mike McMeeken 0 0 29 5 1 1 0 16 108 6.75 1 1 1 0 0 0 5 1
    Alex Foster 0 0 25 4 1 1 0 6 32 5.33 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
    Jesse Sene-Lafao 0 0 22 6 0 0 0 16 79 4.94 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
    Paul McShane 0 1 34 3 4 1 1 9 33 3.67 0 6 0 1 0 0 1 2
    Nathan Massey 0 0 27 5 3 0 0 11 91 8.27 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Ben Roberts 0 0 13 1 4 2 0 18 144 8.00 1 1 3 0 0 0 3 1
    Greg Eden 0 1 0 0 1 3 0 12 100 8.33 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
    Michael Shenton 0 0 8 1 3 2 0 14 47 3.36 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
    Jake Webster 0 0 18 2 3 2 0 8 70 8.75 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
    Greg Minikin 0 0 6 1 2 2 0 17 114 6.71 0 2 1 0 0 0 2 0
    Player T TA TK MT MI TB AT C M AG CB DR E FT G MG OF P
    Regan Grace 1 0 3 0 0 3 0 13 84 6.46 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Mark Percival 1 0 13 0 2 8 1 15 97 6.47 1 1 1 0 1 4 0 0
    Ryan Morgan 1 0 13 2 2 2 0 7 38 5.43 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
    Thomas Makinson 1 0 2 0 2 3 0 19 138 7.26 1 1 3 0 0 0 0 0
    Morgan Knowles 1 0 27 6 2 1 0 7 50 7.14 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Matthew Smith 0 0 13 0 2 0 9 4 36 9.00 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
    Jonathan Lomax 0 0 13 1 1 0 1 11 67 6.09 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2
    Ben Barba 0 3 3 0 1 9 0 11 126 11.45 2 1 1 0 0 0 2 0
    Luke Douglas 0 0 33 5 0 0 0 10 84 8.40 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
    James Roby 0 2 57 11 0 1 0 13 128 9.85 1 12 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Luke Thompson 0 0 29 5 3 0 0 10 76 7.60 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
    Zeb Taia 0 0 25 3 3 0 0 15 98 6.53 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
    Jon Wilkin 0 0 41 12 2 1 1 13 82 6.31 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
    Theo Fages 0 0 12 3 1 0 0 3 22 7.33 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
    Alex Walmsley 0 0 19 2 0 5 0 17 136 8.00 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0
    Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook 0 0 20 4 3 1 0 15 118 7.87 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 1
    Dominique Peyroux 0 0 20 2 4 2 0 9 62 6.89 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

    Stats Key

    T: Tries
    TA: Try assists
    TK: Tackles
    MT: Marker tackles
    MI: Missed tackles
    TB: Tackle busts
    AT: Attacking kicks
    C: Carries
    M: Metres
    AG: Av gain
    CB: Clean break
    DR: Run from dummy half
    E: Errors
    FT: Forty twenty
    G: Goals
    MG: Missed goals
    OF: Offload
    P: Penalties