A superb defensive display earned Castleford Tigers a first away win of the season as they bounced back from Good Friday’s defeat to Leeds Rhinos by beating Warrington Wolves 22-14.
Daryl Powell’s men had to dig deep at times, but bounced back from 10-4 down for a morale-boosting victory that lifted them back into the top eight.
Two tries in two second half minutes from the impressive Adam Milner and Ben Roberts proved decisive with Cas living dangerously at times, but still playing the more controlled rugby against opponents who have now lost four games on the trot.
It was all square at 10-10 at half-time after a half in which Castleford did well to stay in the game with the Wolves looking sharp in attack.
They did score first when just six minutes in Jordan Tansey produced a strong finish to go over in the corner after collecting Luke Gale’s long pass.
But Warrington were soon seen in attack and after Joel Monaghan had a “try” ruled out for a forward pass by Chris Bridge they did get their first score on 15 minutes as Stefan Ratchford was the only player to react to Gareth O’Brien’s well judged grubber kick into the endzone.
O’Brien’s conversion put the hosts ahead and within two minutes they had a second try with a long range move started deep in his own half by Ratchford. His long ball set Kevin Penny racing away and he then sent Ryan Atkins over for a try that went unconverted.
More pressure followed, but Cas held out and finished the half strongly.
A Roberts high kick was knocked back by Justin Carney near the home line only for the Wolves’ Ben Westwood to snap up the loose ball.
Milner, who outshone his former team-mate, Daryl Clark, on the home side, then went close when held up over the line.
But a try did come on 36 minutes as Gale’s pass put Dorn through a big gap to score a try that was converted by Gale to level the scores.
The game remained level pegging for the first 25 minutes of the second half, although the Tigers went close when Milner was held up over the line again and Michael Channing was denied what looked a certain try by a wicked bounce after he was clear onto Gale’s clever kick.
The video referee came to the Tigers’ rescue on the hour when they rightly deemed no try after Penny knocked on near the line from a high kick.
But there was no doubt when Andy Lynch’s pass put Grant Millington through a gap and the Australian forward charged forward in great style. He timed his pass perfectly to the supporting Milner, who raced over for a try his performance richly deserved.
Within two minutes the game’s decisive moment came as Ben Currie looked to be collecting a charge down only for another wicked bounce to see the ball elude him. Gale chased back to gather and quick as a flash turned defence into attack by rounding two Wolves players to charge 50 metres downfield. He did not quite have the pace to go all the way or could not get the pass to the supporting Milner, but from the next play the ball went left, Scott Moore’s pass gave Roberts freedom and with a quick sidestep he opened up a gap to go over for a try converted by Gale.
Back came Warrington with a try that owed a lot to fortune as Penny was awarded a score by the video referee despite looking offside onto Atkins’ hurried kick through.
Crucially O’Brien could not goal and it left the hosts still eight points down and with much still to do.
They had a further effort correctly turned down after Penny appeared to knock-on and Atkins failed to ground the ball anyway, but Cas saw out the remainder well to clinch their first away win of the year.
Scorers - Warrington: Tries Ratchford, Atkins, Penny; goal O’Brien. Castleford: Tries Tansey, Dorn, Milner, Roberts; goals Gale 3.
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford; Penny, Bridge, Atkins, Monaghan; Myler, O’Brien; Hill, Higham, Sims, Currie, Westwood, Harrison. Subs: Clark, Asotasi, Lathwaite, England.
Castleford: Dorn; Tansey, Channing, Shenton, Carney; Roberts, Gale; Lynch, Moore, Wheeldon, Mariano, Cook, Massey. Subs: Milner, Millington, Boyle, Maher.
Referee: James Child