Warrington were looking for their first points of Super League 2017 as Castleford Tigers came to town, themselves seeking to build on their Round One win over Leigh Centurions. The Tigers had last weekend off but the home side were buzzing after last weekends superb win over the Brisbane Broncos in the World Club Challenge.
Kurt Gidley was out for Wolves suffering from a virus giving chance to youngster Jack Johnson at full back. Paul McShane was missing for Castleford due to suspension for a dangerous throw on Gareth Hock and he was replaced by Adam Milner.
With two sides renowned for open rugby, the stage was set for a corker.
The Wolves had been over twice in the opening five minutes, the first off a forward pass and the second held up before a Kevin Brown kick was knocked back by Reece Evans before being picked up off the ground by Andre Savelio to dive over. Dec Patton added the extras.
On nineteen Jesse Sene-Lefeo opened the Tigers account when he pushed off two attempted tackles to run twenty metres to score by the left corner flag. Luke Gale converted from wide to level the scores.
Two minutes later at the visitors were ahead thanks to a great McMeeken break down the centre for thirty metres before passing to the supporting Zak Hardaker who went twenty to score by the uprights. Gale converted for 12-6.
On twenty-five Greg Eden scored the Tigers third when he took a difficult pass from Hardaker before going airborne to dive over in the corner. Gale was unable to add the extras.
Within two minutes it was the fourth. After receiving the kick off a superb seventy metre break from Hardaker saw him find Gale in support to go the remaining thirty to score. Adding the extras it was now 22-6 and the Tigers had scored twenty-two unanswered points in a nine minute spell.
Warrington gave themselves a lifeline Four from the interval after good work from Jack Johnson it was Tom Lineham who stretched to ground the ball on the line. Patton failed with the boot but the margin was down to two converted tries at the interval.
It had been an arm wrestle at the start of the second half but as it wore on it was the home side who seemed to be making more ground. On fifty-eight Tom Lineham went ten metres down the left wing to score one-handed before being pushed into touch. Patton kicked from the touchline and the Tigers lead was down to one converted try.
Against the run of play the Tigers struck on sixty-four when Greg Minikin bemused four Wolves tackles to stretch for the line to score. Gale was wide with his conversion effort.
On seventy-one Savelio got his second of the night when he bounced off three tacklers to go over from acting half-back. Harvey Livett kicked the extras from wide and once again the margin was cut to one try at 22-26.
On seventy-five the Tigers sealed the victory as Greg Eden grabbed his second after Hardaker drew the defenders and gave the winger a clear ten metre run to the line. Gale failed to convert but with an eight point lead it was game over and Warrington were condemned to their second consecutive Super League defeat.
This was a rip-roaring encounter with some scintillating tries and uncompromising defence from both sides. Castleford held out under periods of Wolves onslaught and kept their nerve to score some sensational tries and seal the win and the two points.
Wolves: Johnson, Russell, Evans, Atkins, Lineham (2T), Brown, Patton (2G), Cooper, Ashton, Sims, Savelio (2T), Hughes, Westerman. Subs: Dwyer, Westwood, Livett (G), Crosby.
Tigers: Hardaker (T), Minikin (T), Webster, Shenton, Eden (2T), Chase, Gale (T, 3G), Lynch, Milner, Springer, McMeeken, Sene-Lefoa (T), Massey. Subs: Monaghan, Moors, Millington, Cook.
Referee: Phil Bentham.