Betfred Super League: World Champs St Helens Face Feisty Homecoming At Castleford

The Saints play their first game since winning the World Club Challenge
07:00, 26 Feb 2023

Besides the big Betfred Challenge Cup clash between Hull Dockers and Midlands Hurricanes live on The Sportsman, there's another huge fixture in the world of rugby league on Sunday as world champions St Helens take to the field for the first time since their magnificent World Club Challenge win over Penrith Panthers.

Paul Wellens' Saints head to Castleford to take on the Tigers in Betfred Super League knowing they will be in for another almighty battle, and anything other than a perfect performance might see the four-time back-to-back domestic kings could return to earth with a bump.

Here's everything you need to know about Sunday's clash.

Castleford Tigers v St Helens

Where: Mend-A-Hose Jungle, Castleford.

When: 1.00pm (GMT)

TV: Channel 4

Castleford's last five: Lost 30-32 @ Hull FC (Rd 1), Lost 8-14 @ Leeds (Rd 27, 2022), Lost 10-50 v Salford (Rd 26, 2022), Won 19-18 @ Warrington (Rd 25, 2022), Lost 10-36 @ Huddersfield (Rd 24, 2022)

St Helens' last five: Won 24-12 v Leeds (2022 Grand Final), Won 19-12 v Salford (2022 semi-final), Won 36-16 v Toulouse (Rd 27, 2022), Lost 18-34 v Wakefield (Rd 26, 2022), Lost 10-30 @ Wigan (Rd 25, 2022)

Betfred match winner odds (80 minutes): Castleford Evens, St Helens 5/6, draw 18/1

Handicap betting (Castleford +0.5): Castleford 8/11, St Helens 21/20


Star prop Alex Walmsley could make his 250th appearance for St Helens on Sunday, just over 10 years on from his club debut.

Cas' Bureta Faraimo will be making his 100th Super League appearance if picked, adding a 21st Tigers showing to 79 for Hull FC.


Previous meetings:

Round 22, 2022: St Helens 20, Castleford Tigers 12

Round 10, 2022: Castleford Tigers 30, St Helens 10

Round 19, 2021: St Helens 10, Castleford Tigers 20

Round 16, 2020: St Helens 10, Castleford Tigers 0

Round 7, 2020: Castleford Tigers 28, St Helens 14

Total Super League meetings: 59 (Castleford 10, St Helens 48, one draw)

After the controversy surrounding Joe Westerman in the days leading up to the new season, Lee Radford would have been forgiven for thinking 2023 might be a bit of a nightmare when his Castleford side found themselves 32-6 down at Hull FC in round one. But they spirit to battle back to within two points by full-time suggests there's something about this Tigers team and Radford will be hoping they can pick up where they left off when the world champs come to town. The half-back combination of Gareth Widdop and Jacob Miller will be expected to lead their troops around with the sort of aplomb they showed in the second half at the MKM.

For Saints the biggest danger might be in regard to jet lag. Having travelled back from Australia last weekend, they'll need to be at the peak of their fitness to stay with a big Castleford pack. But Paul Wellens will back his squad, even if it means making a couple of changes from the triumphant World Club Challenge 17.

Sportsman stat: St Helens have a 66.67% winning record at the Jungle in Super League, winning 18 of 27 visits in the summer era.


*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject to Change

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