Castleford Tigers v St Helens Betting Preview | 28th September 2017

RUGBY LEAGUE betting expert Andy Day (@AndyDay81) analyses Thursday night’s Super League semi-final eliminator from The Jungle.

Castleford Tigers v St Helens | Thursday 20:00 | Sky Sports

And so here we are, 30 weekly rounds of blood, sweat and tears and the four best teams this season in Super League will battle it out for a place in the Grand Final at Old Trafford next week.

League winners Castleford have been the in-form team of the season and all eyes will be focused on the Tigers to see how they cope with the pressure of trying to qualify for their first ever Grand Final. To do so they will look to continue their season leading stats.

The Tigers are the league’s leading try scorers – 134 tries scored, have scored the most points (965) and kicked the most goals (120). Individually they also boast the league’s leading try scorer in Greg Eden (37) and the league’s most successful goalkicker in Luke Gale (129).

For all of Castleford’s inexperience at this level, St Helens are veterans. Ten times the Saints have been to Old Trafford and despite a mixed bag of a season – with a change of management to boot – you can never write off the Saints.

Manager Kieron Cunningham was replaced by Justin Holbrook in early June and the change in fortunes has been dramatic – 10 wins in 15 games under Holbrook, compared to five triumphs in their first 13 games – has elevated the visitors into fourth when it seemed their season would fizzle out.

Mark Percival has been the Saints standout player this season, with a personal contribution of 254 points – 40% of St Helens total points scored – and he will be instrumental if the Saints are to come out on top.

The verdict

Without doubt, some of the season’s best rugby will be played this weekend with both games likely to be decided by only the slimmest of margins.

Since 2012, seven of the 10 semi-finals has seen a winning margin of 10 points or fewer and that is where my vote is going.

Despite a strong challenges from the Saints, I cannot look past the team who so convincgly topped the table. I think league winners Castleford will prevail with the 2/1 available on the Tigers winning by 1-12 points the best angle of attack.

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Castleford Tigers v St Helens – Castleford to win by 1-12 points (2/1)