Battling Castleford's comeback bid falls just short

Rangi Chase.
Rangi Chase.

A REMARKABLE comeback saw Castleford Tigers almost pull off an unlikely win against title-chasing Warrington Wolves at the Probiz Coliseum.

Ian Millward's men trailed 34-0 early in the second half, but had their opponents worried when they grabbed five tries in 15 minutes and it needed a breakaway interception try in the 78th minute by Stefan Ratchford to finally see off the plucky Tigers.

Rangi Chase returned for Castleford to form a new half-back partnership with Jamie Ellis while Rhys Williams was back on the wing in place of youngster James Clare and Ryan Hudson was the other player in the squad to miss out with Danny Orr back in the sub hooker role.

In the first half Castleford were given a lesson in finishing as just about every attack brought points for Warrington while the hosts saw a succession of chances go by without them able to get over the Wolves line.

Warrington were ahead from the third minute when Stefan Ratchford sent Ben Westwood over and were soon 12-0 up as Joel Monaghan went over and Brett Hodgson added his second conversion.

A heavy spell of Cas pressure then came to nothing with Adam Milner held up over the line and Grant Millington losing the ball on the line and the Wolves defence somehow holding out.

The visitors weathered the storm and broke out to score through Ryan Atkins and they threatened to run riot as Westwood again and Chris Riley, following a break from his own half, raced over. A fifth conversion for Hodgson made it 30-0 at the break.

Ten minutes into the second half the lead was stretched to 34 points with David Solomona barging over and it hardly seemed to matter that Hodgson then missed his first kick.

But the game turned on its head after Nick Youngquest touched down Orr's kick for the first Cas points on 54 minutes.

Winger Rhys Williams - on loan from Warrington - raced away for a spectacular length of the field try after picking up a loose ball near his own line and Ellis converted. Youngquest then crossed for his second after a piece of magical creation by Chase and the comeback was really on when Richard Owen came up with a fine individual effort from half-way in the 64th minute.

Orr's conversion made it 34-20 and it got even better for the Tigers when Lee Mitchell charged over for a try converted by Orr.

But with Cas pressing for another score two minutes from time Owen's pass five metres out was collected by Ratchford, who raced clear for the match clincher for a relieved Wolves outfit.

Scorers - Castleford: Tries: Youngquest 2, Williams, Owen, Mitchell; goals Ellis, Orr 2. Warrington: Tries Westwood 2, J Monaghan, Atkins, Riley, Solomona, Ratchford; goals Hodgson 6.

Castleford: Owen; Youngquest, Thompson, Griffin, Williams; Chase, Ellis; Jackson, Milner, Huby, Snitch, Millington, Emmitt. Subs: Orr, Jones, Mitchell, Massey.

Warrington: Hodgson; J Monaghan, Blythe, Atkins, Riley; Ratchford, Myler; Hill, Higham, Morley, McCarthy, Westwood, Cooper. Subs: Wood, Solomona, Carvell, M Monaghan.

Referee: Robert Hicks.

Half-time: 0-30.

Attendance: 6,167.