JUST A month ago it looked like Castleford Tigers could be heading for the Middle-8s; now they are mounting a bid for the top-four.
Tigers backed up their 52-12 win at champions Leeds Rhinos with a remarkable 34-14 victory over Warrington, who began the Magic Weekend as First Utility Super League leaders.
Tigers have a habit of following a win over Leeds with a poor performance and that was the case for the opening 35 minutes at Newcastle’s St James’ Park, but once they clicked into gear, Cas were unstoppable.
A blistering spell of five tries in 17 minutes either side of the break turned the game on its head and Tigers added another touchdown after that to finish with 34 unanswered points.
Junior Moors’ early return from a broken hand has been at the heart of Castleford’s improved form and he had another huge game, alongside impressive second-row partner Mike McMeeken. There was also a big effort up front from substitute forward Grant Millington, Luke Gale showed England form at scrum-half and Luke Dorn took his tally to five tries in two matches since coming back from a long-term hamstring problem.
There was no sign of what was to come as Warrington cruised into a 14-0 lead after half and hour, which would have been even more had they taken all their chances.
Stefan Ratchford pounced on a Tigers mix-up in Warrington’s half to race away for the opening try and then Kurt Gidley touched down and converted before Ben Currie crossed.
Tigers broke their duck on 35 minutes with a sensational try on the final tackle, Ben Crooks, Millington, Jake Webster, Gale, Gadwin Springer and McMeeken following Gale’s kick on the final tackle.
Moors sent Millington over on the last play of the half, to cut the gap to two points and Cas hit the front on 48 minutes when Denny Solomona somehow got the ball down from Gale’s kick.
Matt Cook and Gale created a deserved try for McMeeken and Moors, Gale and Dorn linked from a scrum on halfway to send Solomona over for this second.
Gale landed a penalty goal and completed the scoring with his fourth conversion after Dorn had crossed from Moors’ pass.
Castleford Tigers: Dorn, Flynn, Crooks, Monaghan, Solomona, Roberts, Gale, Tickle, Milner, Millington, Moors, McMeeken, Massey. Subs McShane, Springer, Webster, Cook.
Warrington Wolves: Russell, Ormsby, T King, Julien, Lineham, Gidley, Ratchford, Hill, Clark, Sims, Currie, Westwood, Westerman. Subs Cox, Bailey, G King, Smith.
Referee: Gareth Hewer (Whitehaven).