Castleford v St Helens Betfred Challenge Cup Final Saturday July 17th 2021

This was the 2nd part of a great day of rugby league at Wembley and it was the main event, as Castleford Tigers took on St Helens in Challenge Cup final, and there were more fans in for this one.

Castleford haven’t won it since 1986 and it was their most realistic chance of winning silverware, and St Helens haven’t won it since 2008 which is a long time for a club that big.

So could Castleford bring the Challenge Cup home and win something for coach Daryl Powell, or would St Helens win it?

1st St Helens try

After  10 minutes, the 1st try went to St Helens as they started well and on the last tackle, Lomax kicked , the ball hit the post and Fages got the ball down, it went to the video referee and he agreed it was a try , successful conversion by Coote.

1st Cas try

Six minutes later, from their 1st real attack Cas scored after a pass from dummy half, and Matu’atia kicked cleverly which sent Evalds clear to score, successful conversion by O’Brien.

2nd Cas try

After 25 minutes,  after good defence Cas worked it well and on the last tackle O’Brien did a delicate kick, and Trueman lepat higher than the St Helens man and grounded the ball, it did go to the video ref, but he agreed and the try was awarded, successful conversion by O’Brien, and all of a sudden, Cas were on top.

The last attack of the 1st half was a Castleford one and they nearly scored their 3rd try as McShane kicked to the goal area , and Grace just got there before Trueman, and St Helens had to drop it out.

Halftime score:  Castleford 12-6 St Helens

It was a good 1st half, Cas responded well to a fast St Helens start, but could they hold on for 40 more minutes, or would St Helens respond?

2nd St Helens try

Two minutes into the 2nd half and there was a controversial moment from where me and my friends were sitting, as the referee gave a try, but it looked like Grace’s foot was in touch and the other decision was whether Percival touched it or it bounced, then eventually they showed the grounding which was done by Roby, and the video referee said try and the try was awarded, successful conversion by Coote.

3rd St Helens try

After 50 minutes, St Helens went back in front and it was a well worked try as the ball went through hands and out wide to Makinson who dived over the line, unsuccessful conversion by Coote.

St Helens penalty

After 65 minutes, Saints awarded a penalty as a St Helens man was run off the ball by Matu’utia and St Helens chose to kick for the 2 which Coote kicked it over and extended their lead to 6 points.

St Helens penalty

With 9 minutes remaining, another St Helens penalty as Cas were offside and St Helens again chose to kick for goal and Coote successful, was this getting away from Cas?

St Helens penalty

3 minutes later, another St Helens penalty and this time they had a man taken out in the air, again Coote went for goal but he missed this time.

No St Helens try

With 3 minutes left, a great kick by St Helens and Percival nearly got it down, went to the video referee and the referee agreed.

St Helens try

After 78 minutes, the final try of the game went to St Helens and Amor got over the line and took a few Tigers players with him, went to the video referee who said try, successful conversion by Coote.

Fulltime score: Castleford 12-26 St Helens

So it wasn’t to be for Castleford in Daryl Powell’s final season in charge, but it was St Helens first Challenge Cup win since 2008 and they were the much fitter team and deserved it.

It was a great day of rugby league and I enjoyed being part of it.

The game is on BBC IPlayer if people wanted to watch it back.

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