Saints legend Paul Sculthorpe previews the Betfred Super League champions’ visit to Castleford Tigers’ Mend-A-Hose Jungle at 8pm on Friday 25 August.
Well, it looks like a top-six finish is all but secured – not like it was ever in doubt…
Now it’s time to step on the gas and chase that top spot as we look to head into the play-offs in top form.
With only four rounds remaining, it’s Catalans Dragons who sit at the summit of the Betfred Super League table with a four-point cushion over Saints and arch rivals Wigan Warriors in joint-second.
The Dragons beat Betfred Challenge Cup heroes Leigh Leopards 30-14 at the Sports Village to further solidify their reputation as the team to beat this season.
There’s a good chance we will either be two points closer to the French outfit or two points clear of the Warriors after the weekend, for the two go head-to-head in the south of France on Saturday.
We still have to do the business against Castleford, though, who are now under the temporary charge of Danny Ward.
They pulled off a huge victory away at Wakefield the last day in a game that could eventually decide which team loses Betfred Super League status. So, despite the vast gap in league positions, this game is no gimme.
Saints come into the clash on the back of a convincing 28-6 win over Wembley runners-up Hull KR.
The first 40 minutes was far from convincing as neither team looked able to create scoring opportunities. It looked like a sole Mark Percival penalty goal was going to be the difference going into the break, before the impressive Sione Mata’utia was on hand to ground a scrappy last tackle play and send the home side into the sheds 6-0 up.
In true Saints fashion, it was a completely different second half. A Tommy Makinson try four minutes into the second period was the catalyst for what was ultimately a comfortably triumph.
Paul Wellens spoke of his delight at the performance, while Robins boss Willie Peters was equally-impressed, saying: “We started the half well and then bang, bang. You just can’t do that against the champions.”
So, Friday – I suspect the travelling Saints will have far too much for the Tigers and I am going for a win by 16 points or more.