After their fightback win over the Leeds Rhinos last time out, Daryl Powell had his first home fixture as Warrington Wolves coach as the welcomed his old club, the Castleford Tigers, under their new coach Lee Radford as the visitors looked for their first win of the season after last weeks loss to the Salford Red Devils.
Powell shuffled his pack making plenty of changes to compensate for the loss of the suspended Oliver Holmes, Daryl Clark who suffered a head knock against Leeds and late withdrawal Mike Cooper through illness. The Tigers were without half back and goal kicker Danny Richardson who was injured in last week’s loss to Salford.
After great early pressure the Tigers went for the line on the last tackle, but Matty Ashton picked a wayward pass out of the air on his own ten metre line and showed a clear pair of heels to the chasing players to score under the sticks. Stefan Ratchford added the conversion, the Wolves 6-0 ahead after five minutes.
The Wolves were in again on thirteen when Gareth Widdop bamboozled the Tigers defence before putting George Williams through a gap to dove over with the tackler holding his ankle. Ratchford added the conversion for 12-0, Lee Radford’s men up against it.
Kenny Edwards was penalised for double movement when the Tigers should have grabbed one back on nineteen and in quick succession, they conceded a penalty to gift Warrington an attacking position, but the defence held firm.
The Tigers were help up over the line on twenty-seven as Jordan Turner tried to force the ball onto the ground. An attempted Widdop drop goal on thirty-nine is probably best forgotten quickly and despite the score line it hadn´t been all Warrington in the first half. Had it not been for a couple of Castleford errors then the two sides could have been going into the sheds all-square.
Three minutes after the restart a nicely constructed try, scored on the last tackle, saw Derrell Olpherts dive in at the corner on the overlap for the first Tigers try of the game. Gareth O´Brien was unable to add the touchline conversion, the visitors eight adrift.
A dancing Josh Charnley re-established the twelve-point lead for Warrington as he weaved between the defenders on forty-nine minutes. Ratchford was unable to add the conversion from wide.
Any hope of a Tigers fightback was crushed on fifty-five when a barnstorming Rob Mulhern charged the Tigers line with a twenty metre try after busting the tackle and running the angle. Ratchford added the conversion for 22-4, the Tigers heading for back-to-back losses at the start of a season for the first time since 2015.
A Tigers handling error on the hour mark gifted possession to the Wolves with Peter Mata´utia on hand to hack the ball forwards into the in-goal and ground. Ratchford added the conversion for 28-4, Warrington now coasting towards a big win.
Jake Trueman fielded a kick to centre field to dot down under the uprights for the Tigers second of the night and O´Brien added the extras to bring up double figures at 10-28.
Charley got his second on seventy-two, climbing above the Tigers defence to take a delightful Williams chip kick and roll over the line. Ratchford drilled his touchline conversion between the uprights for 34-10.
Daryl Powell´s Warrington side have hit the ground running in 2022 with consecutive victories which see his side top of the league but there is plenty for Lee Radford´s Castleford to think about as they drop into bottom spot in the fledgling table. There were some awful mistakes from the Tigers, handling errors and daft penalties while a disciplined performance from the home side saw them ease to a straightforward win.
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford (4G), Charnley (2T), Mata´utia (T), King, Ashton (T), Widdop, Williams (T), Philbin, Walker, Mulhern (T), Currie, Longstaff, Clark J. Subs: Hughes, Bullock, Bullock, Thewlis.
Castleford Tigers: Evalds, Olpherts (T), Fonua, Mamo, Faraimo, Trueman (T), O´Brien (G), Lawler, McShane, Smith, Sutcliffe, Edwards, Westerman. Subs: Watts, Griffin, Turner, Blair.
Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 10-0, 12-0 : HT : 12-4, 16-4, 20-4, 22-4, 26-4, 28-4, 28-8, 28-10, 32-10, 34-10 : FT .
Referee: James Child.