Finn seals dramatic win for Castleford Tigers

Liam Finn, who landed a winning drop-goal.
Liam Finn, who landed a winning drop-goal.

Castleford Tigers are up to fourth place in the Super League after a 79th minute drop-goal by Liam Finn clinched a thrilling 17-16 win over Warrington Wolves.

Daryl Powell’s men looked like they had let a 10-point lead slip in the last 10 minutes as the Wolves hit back late on to level, but half-back Finn kept his nerve with his left-footed field goal to make it two wins out of two in the Super Eights.

It was a great comeback effort from the half-back after he had earlier put in a poor kick that led to a Warrington try and made up also for an earlier drop-goal attempt by Luke Gale that drifted inches wide.

At times it seemed they were finding new ways to fail put the game to bed after getting on top in the second half, but they got there in the end and somehow it would not be Castleford if they did not do it the exciting way.

Cas edged the first half 12-6 after a tight struggle and some good defence kept the visitors down to one try.

An early break by Jake Webster gave the Tigers good field position, but it was wasted when Ben Roberts - starting at full-back again - had the ball stolen from him by Chris Hill and no penalty was forthcoming.

But most of the pressure in the first 15 minutes came from Warrington

Their new man, Chris Sandow, came up with a 40-20 kick and forced a drop-out with another kick while Ben Harrison was held up over the line and Kevin Perry could not get the ball down when well tackled by Ashley Gibson.

Cas broke out of their own half and to great effect when Roberts’ pass sent Carney over in the corner for a try superbly converted from the touchline by Gale.

Warrington looked to hit back, but had a try ruled out by the video referee after Ryan Atkins knocked on a high kick he contested with Gibson.

Again the Tigers went straight down the other end and produced more good play for Michael Shenton to go over following a great Oliver Holmes offload and a fast pass by Roberts.

The visitors hit back to get their first points on 32 minutes as Richie Myler found a gap and raced over for a try converted by Sandow.

But Cas stretched the lead to 12-6 just before half-time as they were awarded a penalty and Gale kicked the goal.

The Tigers made a good start to the second half as Finn’s kick was caught by Shenton and his superb knock back found Holmes who then sent Carney over for his second try. Gale’s conversion attempt hit the post, but his team were 16-6 ahead three minutes after the break.

The game ebbed and flowed for a spell, but there was a feeling Cas were getting on top as the hour mark was past.

Luke Dorn almost made an immediate impact after coming off the bench, making a break with his first touch and then getting involved in the attack only to send a pass into touch trying to find the unmarked Carney on his outside.

Gibson was inches away from a try when he touched down in the corner only for the video referee to correctly rule that he had put a foot in touch.

But out of the blue with the Tigers threatening again Finn’s kick was easily snapped up by Myler who then raced virtually the length of the field for a try that put his side right back in the contest. Sandow crucially hit the post with the kick to leave six points between the sides.

Gale was unlucky to see a drop-goal attempt go just wide of the posts as Cas looked for the point that would clinch it and they were made to pay four minutes from time when the Wolves scored again.

After Hill was held up over the line a couple of plays later winger Penny was found in space and went over in the corner. Sandow added the touchline goal and it was all level.

But after a deep restart Cas got the ball back when Daryl Clark lost the ball in a tackle with opposite number Adam Milner. The Tigers then set up field position and Finn came up with his match winner.

Scorers - Castleford: Tries Carney 2, Shenton; goals Gale 2; drop-goal Finn. Warrington: Tries Myler 2, Penny; goals Sandow 2.

Castleford Tigers: Roberts; Gibson, Webster, Shenton, Carney; Finn, Gale; Lynch, Milner, Millington, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey. Subs: Dorn, Cook, Moors, Springer.

Warrington Wolves: Ratchford; Penny, Evans, Atkins, Monaghan; Sandow, Myler; Hill, Clark, Sims, Westwood, Currie, Harrison. Subs: Asotasi, Wheeler, Dwyer, King.

Referee: Ben Thaler.

Half-time: 12-6

Attendance: 5,212