Castleford Tigers 14 Warrington Wolves 26: Depleted Tigers unable to hold Wolves at bay
Man of Steel front runner Blake Austin maintained his impressive form to guide Warrington Wolves to a routine win over injury-hit Castleford. Tigers
The Australian stand-off created two of his side’s four tries and was a constant thorn in the side of the Tigers, who trailed 26-6 before producing a late rally.
Tigers drop to seventh after suffering three successive defeats for the first time since 2016 in front of a crowd of 5,323, their lowest of the season.
Castleford coach Daryl Powell was forced by his club’s injury situation to give a debut to former Melbourne Storm centre Cheyse Blair, just three days after flying into the country and the new man endured a difficult time with his opposite number Toby King scoring two tries.
The Tigers also lost influential hooker Paul McShane with a shoulder problem after only seven minutes yet they made a dream start.
They failed to make the most of a 40-20 kick from stand-off Jake Trueman, but struck in opportunist fashion when second rower Mike McMeeken intercepted Mike Cooper’s careless offload and raced into space before getting the supporting Cory Aston over for the game’s first try.
Peter Mata’utia added the conversion to make it 6-0, but Cooper made amends for his error in spectacular fashion with a barnstorming run and a penalty put the Wolves in front.
Tigers winger Tuoyo Egodo got over the line only to be prevented from touching the ball down and Wolves immediately went upfield and King seized on Greg Eden’s inability to collect Blake Austin’s kick to the corner by touching down for his side’s second try.
Ratchford slotted a second penalty on the stroke of half-time and the game quickly went away from the home side in the second half, King and Currie scoring tries.
Ratchford stretched his side’s lead to 26-6, but Tigers’ late rally brought them two tries from Egodo and Greg Minikin.
Castleford Tigers: Mata’utia, Egodo, Minikin, Blair, Eden, Ashton, Trueman, Watts, McShane, Maher, Clarkson, McMeeken, Massey. Substitutes: Milner, Clark, Turner, Smith.
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford, Johnson, Atkins, Austin, Patton, King, Charnley, Hill, D. Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Davis. Substitutes: J. Clark, Livett, Philbin, Akauola.
Referee: Chris Kendall (RFL).