Castleford Tigers 27 Warrington Wolves 18: Peter Mata’utia kicks Tigers back into top five
Castleford climbed back into Super League’s top five after Peter Mata’utia kicked them to a hard-fought 27-18 victory over Warrington.
The Tigers handed the Wolves their second loss in a row, and leapfrogged Catalans into fifth place, with a tight eight-point win at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The kicking of Mata’utia proved the difference in a see-sawing contest as the Australian nailed five from seven with the boot.
Castleford’s third victory in four matches moves them ahead of the Dragons, who went down 40-14 to Salford, on points difference.
The Wolves broke the deadlock in the eighth minute through a Dec Patton penalty goal from right in front.
The Tigers then compounded that by putting the restart straight out on the full.
Josh Charnley went close to extending the lead, but Castleford’s scramble defence managed to pull him down short of the line.
The home team then race away down field courtesy of a Jake Trueman line-break.
James Clare finished the attacking set off by touching down in the right corner and putting his team ahead. Mata’utia added the extras to make it 6-2.
Soon after Clare went close to making it a double, but the Wolves’ cover defence cut him down.
In the 21st minute, Castleford made it a six-point buffer through a Mata’utia penalty goal, after the visitors were caught offside.
Tuoyo Egodo then got over the try-line but lost control of the ball as he tried to ground it.
Five minutes before half-time Mata’utai extended the lead to 10-2 with another successful penalty strike.
But an error from the centre after the kick-off gave Warrington an excellent chance to respond.
The Wolves were not wasteful and Blake Austin put a bomb up to the right wing that was tapped back and picked up by Jake Mamo to score. Patton converted it to cut the score back to 10-8.
But right before the half-time hooter sounded the Tigers earned another penalty that was duly kicked by Mata’utia.
In the second half Warrington snuck in front after an Egodo mistake handed them the ball.
On the next set, they shifted the ball quickly to the left and Tom Lineham touched down in the corner.
Patton nailed the conversion from the sideline to put the visitors in front at 14-12.
The lead did not last long as Castleford kept their calm and clawed their way back in front.
The Tigers built pressure on the Wolves’ line and eventually, Greg Minkin crashed over out wide.
Mata’utia’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful, but they were crucially ahead at 16-14.
The game-changing moment came in the 58th minute after a wild offload from Charnley. Jake Trueman swooped on it, racing away 80 metres to score. Mata’utia added the extras to give Castleford a vital 22-14 buffer.
The Tigers were not done yet and with Warrington’s mistakes mounting, they pounced again.
Egodo dived over on the left flank for the home side’s fourth try of the afternoon to seal the win.
Toby King then grabbed a consolation try, but the Wolves could not conjure another to steal the victory as Trueman slotted a late drop goal.