Castleford Tigers suffer first defeat on difficult night at Warrington

Greg Eden goes over for the opening try for Castleford Tigers at Warrington Wolves. Picture: James Heaton
Greg Eden goes over for the opening try for Castleford Tigers at Warrington Wolves. Picture: James Heaton

Castleford Tigers lost their 100 per cent record as they let an early lead slip to go down 24-10 at Warrington Wolves.

After winning their first four games Daryl Powell's men knew they faced their toughest task to date at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, especially without eight first teamers.

Greg Minikin races in for a try. Picture: Simon Hall

Greg Minikin races in for a try. Picture: Simon Hall

And although they produced a spirited effort in the second half they found it tough going against a Wolves side determined to bounce back from their first defeat last week.

The Tigers were also left to reflect on three chances that went begging with the ball dropped a metre from the line.

Castleford started well and after some solid early defence they were first to score in the seventh minute when Paul McShane's kick out wide was knocked back by a leaping Michael Shenton and Greg Eden was alert to collect the bouncing ball to race over. Jordan Rankin was unable to convert.

A second try almost followed as Jesse Sene-Lefao took some stopping just short of the line. From the next play McShane attempted a runaround move with Liam Watts only to drop the ball with the line looking open.

Michael Shenton on the attack for Castleford Tigers. Picture: Simon Hall

Michael Shenton on the attack for Castleford Tigers. Picture: Simon Hall

Warrington produced nothing of note until the 20th minute when off the back of their first penalty they came with a try. A superb cut out pass by Dec Patton sent left winger Jake Mamo over and although Stefan Ratchford could not add the extras they were back level.

The Tigers' response was disappointing, although they defended their line well as Toby King was held up over the line.

The hosts benefited from a controversial decision as they were given an extra set after Patton's kick hit Nathan Massey and the Cas player was judged to have played at it. Soon after Ratchford's pass gave Mamo a chance to dive over in the corner and with Ratchford collecting his 1,000th career point with a touchline conversion the Wolves were now 10-4 ahead.

The lead became 16-4 five minute before half-time when Jack Hughes spun out of an attempted tackle by Greg Minikin and was able to charge over after Mamo had caught Blake Austin's high kick out wide. Ratchford's goal completed the first half scoring.

Jesse Sene-Lefao takes on Warrington Wolves defenders. Picture: Simon Hall

Jesse Sene-Lefao takes on Warrington Wolves defenders. Picture: Simon Hall

Cas had good field position off the back of a couple of penalties just before the break, but wasted it as the ball was lost in a tackle close to the line.

Warrington stretched their lead straight after half-time as they were given two penalties and from the second of them Ratchford kicked a goal.

Cas were then given two penalties, but a great chance to hit back went begging as skipper Shenton lost the ball inches from the line.

Ben Murdoch-Masila showed how to finish five minutes later with a powerful run that gave tacklers McShane and Mata'utia little chance to bring him down. Ratchford's fourth goal made it 24-4.

The visitors gave themselves hope with their second try on 58 minutes as Jake Trueman and Mata'utia combined classily to send Minikin over down the right wing. With Rankin converting they were down to 14 points behind.

Their next set was good and ended with some enterprising play on the last tackle that was unlucky to end with Shenton losing the ball near the line.

Trueman then put in a clever grubber close to the home line, but Chris Hill did well to get down and save the day for his team.

Warrington did not look like extending their lead in the closing stages as they concentrated on running the clock down with some decent game management seeing them home for their victory which put level on points with the Tigers.

Scorers - Warrington: Tries Mamo 2, Hughes, Murdoch-Masila; goals Ratchford 4. Castleford: Tries Eden, Minikin; goal Rankin.

Warrrington Wolves: Ratchford; Mamo, Goodwin, King, Charnley; Austin, Patton; Hill, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Tasi. Subs: Murdoch-Masila, Westwood, J Clark, Philbin.

Castleford Tigers: Mata'utia; Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden; Trueman, Rankin; Watts, McShane, Moors, Sene-Lefao, Clarkson, Massey. Subs: Foster, Cook, Egodo, O'Neill.

Referee: Chris Kendall.

Half-time: 16-4.

Attendance: 9,231.