Castleford edge out Warrington in narrow win

Oliver Holmes celebrates his try for Castleford

Betfred Super League
Warrington (20) 30
Tries: Roberts, Ratchford, Clark, Akauola, Charnley 2 Goals: Livett 2, Goodwin
Castleford (20) 34
Tries: McMeeken, Turner, Hitchcox, Laulu-Togaga’e, Holmes Goals: Turner 6, Milner

Patched-up Castleford Tigers edged a see-sawing, high-quality encounter with Warrington Wolves thanks to a better goal-kicking record.

Warrington, who scored six tries including a double for in-form Josh Charnley, were let down by their goal-kicking, with just three converted.

The Tigers were without several key players including Greg Eden and Paul McShane, but contributed five tries.

Seven goals, six by teenage full-back Calum Turner, proved key.

Fourth-placed Cas are now level on points with the Wire, who remain in third place.

Fresh from their Challenge Cup victory against Wigan and with 11 wins in 12 games, a strong Warrington side might have fancied their chances having observed the Tigers’ team-sheet pre-match.

However Daryl Powell’s squad did not miss their senior pros – such as McShane, reigning Man of Steel Luke Gale or fellow half Jamie Ellis – as Turner looked inspired and Jake Trueman combined brilliantly with try-scoring debutant Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e in the halves to cause problems.

There were some sensational finishes across the board, not least by Wire winger Charnley who will have boosted his hopes of making Wayne Bennett’s mid-season England squad next week with two well-taken tries out wide, taking his tally to 14 in just 12 games.

This was a significant win for Castleford, having lost all their games against fellow top four sides before this success, and have gained ground on both Wigan and Warrington in addition to their game in hand.

Warrington head coach Steve Price:

“We got back into the game in the first half and scored 20 points in around 13 minutes which was pleasing and I was confident at half-time going into the second half.

“But I was disappointed with our start to the second half and our application to detail and decisions with the ball.

“But credit to Castleford I thought they played really well and everything they did was far superior to how we were going. We’ve been going pretty good and were going for second spot tonight and there were patches when we gave ourselves opportunities to win the game but weren’t good enough.”

Castleford head coach Daryl Powell:

“We’ve had some big wins like semi-finals and some games we’ve won dramatically but I think for character, toughness and resilience I don’t think I’ve had a better win than that.

“To come away from home against a team that’s been in the top two in the competition all year and I thought we outplayed them tonight, we were phenomenal.

“Defensively I thought we have set ourselves a standard now and since the St Helens game we have stepped up massively and it doesn’t matter who is playing in a Castleford team that is what it should look like.

“I thought it was an awesome effort from everyone. We came of age this season in a lot of ways and it gives us a great platform to build on.”

Warrington: Ratchford; Lineham, Goodwin, Atkins, Charnley; K. Brown, Roberts; Hill, Clark, Cooper, Livett, Hughes, Westwood.

Interchanges: Murdoch-Masila, Patton, Philbin, Akauola.

Castleford: Turner; Minikin, Foster, Shenton, Hitchcox; Laulu-Togagae, Trueman; Millington, Milner, Cook, Wardle, McMeeken, Sene-Lefao.

Interchanges: Holmes, Massey, Clark, Maher.

Referee: Ben Thaler (RFL)

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