After their loss to struggling Huddersfield Giants last time out the Warrington Wolves had a point to prove as they welcomed their incoming coach, Daryl Powell, and his current Castleford Tigers to the Halliwell-Jones Stadium for Saturday afternoon’s second game.
The Wolves were the favourites with the bookies to bounce back from last weeks disappointment with the Tigers getting a four-point start on the coupon despite the home side sitting one place below the visitors in the current league table.
The Tigers lost Mata’utia in the warmup and had to re-jig their line-up, bringing Lewis Bienek onto the bench and Brad Martin into the starting thirteen.
Despite putting the kick-off out on the full it was the Tigers who opened the scoring on just two minutes with Paul McShane breaking downfield and finding the supporting Jake Trueman to cross for a try which was simply far too easy. Danny Richardson added the conversion, the Tigers as stunned as the Wolves that they’d taken the lead.
Warrington responded on eleven with Josh Charnley scoring after good fast hands from the Wolves as they kept the ball alive on the last tackle. Stefan Ratchford was unable to add the touchline conversion but after a shaky start the Wolves were finding their footing.
Within two minutes Toby King carried a Castleford defender with him as he crossed for the second try for the Wolves. Ratchford had a conversion attempt from the same spot as his first but put this one between the uprights for a 10-6 lead after ten minutes.
In the tit-for-tat, and after an awful drop-out from Warrington, the Tigers went in for their second with Jordan Turner crossing in the corner for the equalising score. Richardson couldn’t convert from wide with nineteen minutes on the clock.
It was a free scoring game which saw Gareth Widdop over on the twenty-third minute as he wrong-footed the Tigers defence to go alone for a try from nothing. Ratchford couldn’t add the conversion but the Wolves led by 14-10.
Ratchford added a thirty-fourth minute penalty to extend the lead to six points which they maintained to the half time hooter.
It took twenty second half minutes for Warrington to extend their lead when great work from Ratchford, switching carry hands, allowed him to find the supporting Widdop to scamper in for the try and a double-digit lead. Ratchford added the conversion meaning Castleford had to score three times.
Widdop secured his hat-trick a few minutes later to put the game beyond the Tigers and when Ratchford added the conversion it was 28-10 to the home side with twelve minutes remaining.
The Tigers were in bits when Toby King walked in for his second, and Warrington’s fifth try of the afternoon. Ratchford couldn’t add the goal this time but it had turned into a second half horror show for the Tigers.
A fourth second half try from Warrington Daryl Clark dropping the ball onto the line when it appeared that they had been held up over the line. Ratchford added the conversion for 38-10, a devastating score line for the Tigers to be on the wrong end of.
Jordan Turner scored a late consolation after Trueman was first to react to a bouncing ball and put the winger in for a try. Richardson couldn’t turn four into six, the Tigers players desperately looking for the final hooter.
A close first hour was overshadowed by a sensational last twenty for the Warrington Wolves who kicked on and ran in four tries with just one response to consolidate themselves in fourth spot and push the Tigers down to sixth in the early season table. Warrington are far from the finished article but after last week’s blip they are back up and running and again seeking some consistency.
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford (5G), Thewlis, King (2T), Mamo, Charnley (T), Austin, Widdop (3T), Hill, Clark D (T), Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Philbin. Subs: Clark J, Mulhern, Davis, Butler.
Castleford Tigers: Clare, Turner (2T), Shenton, Sene-Lafeo, Olpherts, Trueman (T), Richardson (G), Massey, McShane, Smith, Griffin, Martin, Milner. Subs: Hepi, Matagi, Peachey, Bienek.
Referee: Chris Kendall.
Score Progression: 0-4, 0-6, 4-6, 8-6, 10-6, 10-10, 14-10, 16-10 : HT : 20-10, 22-10, 26-10, 28-10, 32-10, 36-10, 38-10, 38-14 : FT.