Warrington Wolves have reasserted their position in second place after a convincing 26-14 win at Castleford Tigers.
It was the Tigers who drew first blood after a Warrington mistake where a kick failed to find the distance, and Mike McMeekan was able to break before passing to Cory Aston on the inside to go over. Peter Mata’uita converted to take the Tiger six points in front.
That lead didn’t last long however, as Mike Cooper managed to drag his way over to score. Stefan Ratchford was able to score the conversion to bring the scores level.
The game was starting to heat up, and it hit pressure point when Blake Austin’s tackle drifted high. Both players come together but nothing was done about it by referee Chris Kendall.
The next points did come from a penalty as Ratchford scored as Castleford were punished for a flop.
Castleford then thought they were back in the game as Tuyo Egodo collected Aston’s kick, but it was only brilliant defence from the away side that stopped the winger getting the ball down.
That would prove costly as Greg Eden tried to collect Austin’s kick, he dropped the ball straight into the path of Toby King and the centre needed no second invitation to score. Ratchford missed the conversion this time from out wide, but it was still a healthy lead for the visitors.
Then right before half time, Ratchford was able to extend Warrington’s lead with another penalty after Dec Patton was caught late as he kicked the ball forward. This was the last kick of the first half.
The next try was crucial and it was Warrington who got it, after great play from Jack Hughes and Daryl Clark put King in for his second try of the match. Ratchford scored the conversion again to stretch their advantage out to a three score one.
It soon got even worse for the Tigers as Ben Currie got in on the act with another try for the visitors. Ratchford scored the conversion again to extend the lead out to 20 points.
Warrington were in complete control and had two more tries disallowed by the video referee. The first one saw brilliant defence to hold up Ryan Atkins and then Hughes was denied after an illegal tackle in the air by King in the build up.
The home side needed to get back into it quickly and they did, scoring two tries in three minutes through their two wingers Egodo and Greg Minikin.
It set up a tense finale and it threatened to turn grand stand when McMeekan thought he’d scored, but video replays showed he didn’t have control of the ball and that stopped any hopes of a comeback by the home team.
Warrington have now pulled clear of third place and are currently six points clear of third and just two points behind St Helens, having played a game more. They take on Wigan Warriors next Sunday in the Challenge Cup.
As for Castleford, they were missing a few names and its showing no sign of easing at the moment. They face Hull FC in the Challenge Cup next Friday.