Four tries in eight minutes in a devastating first half spell helped Castleford Tigers to their second win in two Betfred Super League games as they beat Warrington Wolves 30-22.
Daryl Powell’s men were trailing early on, but hit back in fantastic style to run in six tries with some outstanding attacking play and held their nerve with some quality rugby after the break to beat opponents who beat Australian giants Brisbane Broncos last week.
Castleford led 22-10 at half-time after a frantic first half full of great attacking rugby from both teams.
Warrington started the stronger and almost scored in the second minute when Ryan Atkins went over only for Kevin Brown’s pass to him to be correctly ruled forward.
Daryl Clark was then held up over the line with Nathan Massey doing well to get underneath the man and ball.
However, on six minutes the hosts were ahead as Rhys Evans looked offside chasing Kevin Brown’s high kick, but tapped the ball back for Andre Savelio to dive over from close range. The video referee allowed the try to stand and Dec Patton added the conversion.
It was all Warrington at this stage until the first half turning point came after Joe Westerman chased a kick over the line only to put the ball down just over the back line.
From a fast tap-out restart Cas then put their first points on the board after they produced a great set that ended when Luke Gale and Grant Millington combined to send Jesse Sene-Lefao over. Gale goaled to level the game.
Suddenly the Tigers exploded into action and within two minutes they scored again, Hardaker backing up a superb sidestep and break down the middle by Mike McMeeken. Gale goaled again.
Another try almost followed as Gale’s high kick was dropped by Matty Russell and hacked on by Greg Eden only for the hosts to just clear.
From the next set the third try did come when Hardaker’s pass gave Eden the chance to show his finishing ability with a great dive over in a tight space in the corner.
Gale could not add the goal this time, but within a minute was converting the Tigers’ fourth try, scored by Gale himself as he backed up a tremendous long range break by Hardaker straight from the Wolves’ restart kick.
Four tries in eight minutes and Warrington did not know what had hit them. They regrouped, however, and after a penalty marched them downfield Tom Lineham dived over from close range underneath two tacklers to get the ball down just on the line.
With no goal from Patton it was 22-10 at the end of a thrilling first half.
The second half started with both teams turning up the heat in defence and it was 18 minutes before any more points were scored.
In that period Greg Minikin was inches away from going over in the corner when tackled in touch while the home team went equally close through Lineham as he went for the corner.
Warrington did score when Lineham dived over in the corner, the video referee confirming he got the ball down just before his foot went in touch. With Patton kicking the touchline goal it was game on at 22-16.
Cas got the crucial next try, however, as Minikin produced a strong finish after Adam Milner had made an incredible break, shrugging off several would-be tacklers then McMeeken came up with a clever flick pass to give his winger the chance to attack the line.
Eden came close to another try when he chose to kick ahead instead of attacking the corner and the play forced a drop-out.
But former Cas player Daryl Clark made a great break for the Wolves and off the back of it another ex-Tiger Savelio produced a strong finish from close range.
Young sub Harvey Livett kicked a touchline goal to bring the scores to within four points, but it was the Tigers who clinched their deserved win. Gale’s superb kick and Michael Shenton’s chase forced a drop-out and from the next set they produced a classy left side move involving Gale and Hardaker and finished by Eden.
Scorers - Warrington: Tries Savelio 2, Lineham 2; goals Patton 2, Livett. Castleford: Tries Sene-Lefao, Hardaker, Eden 2, Gale, Minikin; goals Gale 3.
Warrington: Johnson; Russell, Evans, Atkins, Lineham; Brown, Patton; Cooper, Clark, Sims, Hughes, Savelio, Westerman. Subs: Dwyer, Crosby, Livett, Westwood.
Castleford: Hardaker; Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden; Chase, Gale; Lynch, Milner, Springer, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey. Subs: Millington, Moors, Cook, Monaghan.
Referee: Phil Bentham.