Rugby League: Goulding off but Saints keep control

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The Independent Online
St Helens virtually assured themselves of a top-four Super League place with a 25-18 win over Leeds at Knowsley Road yesterday, but the match was overshadowed by the dismissal of Bobbie Goulding.

Goulding, stripped of the captaincy two weeks ago for disciplinary reasons, was sent off, for the second time this season, after 29 minutes for a high tackle on the Leeds prop, Jamie Mathiou, who received treatment for almost five minutes before being taken to hospital with severe concussion. For the second time this year, though, Saints put Goulding's dismissal behind them to record a backs-to-the-wall victory.

At the other end of the table, the bottom club, Oldham, were given some hope of survival with Castleford losing 22-14 at Warrington. Castleford provided the much-improved Wolves with a tough test but were always chasing the game once Jon Roper pounced for his ninth try of the season after 15 minutes. There were also tries for Jason Lidden, Nigel Vagana and Mark Forster, while Castleford managed two late tries from Jason Critchley and Chris Smith.

Oldham, who play at Paris tonight, are three points behind Castleford with two games left, while the West Yorkshire side have just one more game to confirm their Super League place for next season. Paris are on 10 points with Castleford, but have today's match in hand.

London Broncos made sure of second place despite dropping a point in a 28-28 draw against Halifax Blue Sox at The Stoop. London, who had led 24-10, were still heading for both points until Michael Jackson scored an injury-time try for Halifax which was converted by John Schuster.

Sheffield collected their second victory in four days with a 30-12 home win against Salford to make sure of a home tie in the end of season play- offs.

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