2nd October 2017, 10:56 | englandrl
There’s only one place to start with this week’s England Watch and that’s at The Mend-a-House Jungle where EPS star Luke Gale played a huge part in securing Castleford Tigers’ first Grand Final appearance, less than three weeks after having his appendix removed.
The scrum-half had earlier kicked four goals and scored a try on his comeback appearance, before holding his nerve to slot over a do-or-die penalty in the final minute, to send one of the most dramatic games Super League has ever seen, to golden point extra time.
Then after narrowly missing a few minutes earlier, he slotted home the crucial drop goal on 86 minutes to send The Jungle into delirium.
Full-back Zak Hardaker also played a key part in the Tigers win, and got them off to a perfect start with a try inside the opening 60 seconds.
Greg Eden got one try assist on Thursday, as did hooker Paul McShane, who also made 34 tackles and kicked an important forty-twenty.
Michael Shenton, Greg Minikin and Mike McMeeken were the other Castleford World Cup hopefuls to feature in a memorable night in West Yorkshire.
Centre Mark Percival played a key part as St Helens almost made it to an 11th Super League Grand Final.
He scored one try but he struggled to hold his nerve at the kicking tee, missing a number of high-pressure conversions, which would ultimately have seen Justin Holbrook’s side over the line.
Tommy Makinson also scored for Saints, with James Roby completing a might 57 tackles on the night.
Jonny Lomax returned from a short injury lay-off to once again play in the halves, whilst prop Alex Walmsley made 136 metres.
On Friday, Leeds Rhinos’ EPS stars were pivotal as they made it through to Old Trafford, thanks to a 18-16 win over Hull FC.
Stevie Ward showed brilliant strength and agility to avoid being tackled and reached out for an early try for Leeds. The back-rower also made 40 tackles for the Rhinos.
Kallum Watkins proved he could handle the pressure from the kicking tee by converting all three of Leeds’ tries. Winger Ryan Hall got one try assist and made 139 metres.
Prop Scott Taylor featured as Hull FC fell to defeat as they aimed to reach their second Grand Final.