St Helens Star: FOR the second week running Saints produced an off-colour performance to make it back-to-back defeats and they have now lost as many Super League games as they did for the whole of last year.

They were second best in all facets of the game at Castleford, losing 28-14 after tossing up an inconsistent, ill-disciplined and error-strewn performance ill-befitting of champions.

St Helens Star:

There can be no excuses – and from the first moments it was fairly obvious that Castleford were up for it, hitting Saints’ ball carriers with venom and winning that crucial battle in the middle.

From prop Alex Walmsley to the ever-dependable line-clearer Tommy Makinson, Saints’ ball carriers were met with crunching hits.

St Helens Star:

Saints’ failure to make any headway saw their game plan malfunction and in the first half it went from some pretty desperate, uninspiring attempts to simply make yards with five drives and a kick to playing some panic hot-potato football.

Neither worked – and they had conceded three tries before a long pass allowed Tommy Makinson to show his class in the corner.

That gave Saints a toe-hold at the break and they came out with a renewed vigour in the second half.

St Helens Star:

Saints showed a bit more fluency in the second – and showed what they could do when the ball went through hands, but the sin-binning of Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook for a late challenge on kicker Danny Richardson took the wind out of their sails.

It was Saints’ second yellow of the game – with Matty Lees getting 10 minutes in the first half with his first action off the bench.

And that epitomised the ill-disciplined performance.

Cas never really relinquished control, rendering the late scores from Jack Welsby and Luke Thompson as mere consolations.

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