Castleford Tigers produced the magic on day one of Magic Weekend as they came from 14-0 down to beat Super League leaders Warrington Wolves 34-14 at Newcastle.
Daryl Powell’s men looked to be struggling in the opening quarter, but two tries just before half-time and two more in the first 10 minutes of the second half saw them take control for a memorable victory.
To prevent Warrington from scoring in the whole of the second period was a tremendous effort and continued their great work from the previous two weeks when they had beaten Salford and Leeds.
Castleford did well to somehow stay in the game in the first half after they initially looked out of sorts and looked under pressure from a keen Warrington defence.
The Wolves were ahead inside three minutes when Stefan Ratchford raced clear after picking up a loose ball following a poor pass by Ben Roberts early on his return to the side from injury.
Kurt Gidley’s kick hit the post, but four minutes later he converted his own try after he wriggled over from close range and it was 10-0 with Tigers seemingly in for a long afternoon.
Ratchford’s brilliant chip kick for himself almost led to another try for the Wolves, but his further kick bounced over the back line to the Tigers’ relief.
Cas finally put together a decent attack as Paul McShane jinked his way into space near the Warrington line only for the move to end with a Ben Crooks knock-on.
Denny Solomona then got to a Luke Gale high kick, but knocked on under pressure near the line.
It was Warrington who did score on the half-hour as full-back Matty Russell made a break after catching a Gale high kick and Ben Currie backed up to race over. With no goal it was 14-0.
But the Tigers made a superb finish to the half to score two tries in the last six minutes to make it 14-12 at half-time.
First, they kept the ball moving from right to left and back again on the sixth tackle after Crooks collected a Gale high kick. Eventually Luke Dorn was there to scoot over for a try of the season contender that was converted in off the post by Gale.
Cas scored again with the last play of the half as Jake Webster made a fantastic break from his own half and a few plays later Grant Millington showed a neat sidestep to charge over from close range. Gale’s second goal gave the Tigers a great end to the half.
It got even better for the Tigers after the break as they went in front seven minutes in, Solomona collecting a great Gale high kick to the corner and spinning in the air to somehow get the ball down under huge pressure.
Gale was unable to add the extras and denied a penalty that should have followed as Gidley’s elbow to the throat of Solomona after he got the ball down was not punished by anything more than a talking to by referee Gareth Hewer.
Cas were over the line again, however, three minutes later as Mike McMeeken showed fine skill to hold the ball in one hand as he charged over following further impressive work by Gale.
It was one-way traffic now and the Tigers scored again when Dorn set Solomona free down the wing and he showed his customary pace for his second try, this time goaled by Gale.
A penalty for a bad high tackle by Ashton Sims on Danny Tickle then allowed Gale to kick another goal to stretch the lead to 28-14..
When Dorn backed up a strong break by man of the match Junior Moors to collect his second try and Gale added the extras it was all over.
Gidley did drop the ball with the line beckoning to sum up Warrington’s second half when they failed to score a single point and they were ultimately well beaten in a game they were initially dominant in.
Scorers - Castleford: Tries Dorn 2, Millington, McMeeken, Solomona 2; goals Gale 5. Warrington: Tries Ratchford, Gidley, Currie; goals Gidley.
Castleford Tigers: Dorn; Flynn, Crooks, Monaghan, Solomona; Roberts, Gale; Tickle, Milner, Millington , Moors, McMeeken, Massey. Subs: McShane, Springer, Webster, Cook.
Warrington Wolves: Russell; Ormsby, T King, Jullien, Lineham; Gidley, Ratchford; Hill, Clark, Sims, Currie, Westwood, Westerman. Subs: Cox, Bailey, G King, Smith.
Referee: Gareth Hewer.