Superb Tigers too good for Wolves

Posted: Sunday 21st July 2019 - 5:19 PM


Looking to build on an impressive second half performance last time when they put rivals Wakefield to the sword, the Tigers were forced into a late change when Cheyse Blair pulled out on the morning of the game but they rallied with a superb performance at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

Blair’s absence meant Pete Mata’utia was named in the centres with Paul McShane switching to seven, but in reality the team’s spine lined up as it had the previous week once play got underway, with Oliver Holmes in fact the player to feature inside winger Tuoyo Egodo on the left edge.

That meant Mata’utia continued his promising partnership with Jake Trueman in the halves, Cory Aston drafted onto the bench as cover, whilst a couple of changes in the forwards saw Liam Watts utilised as a substitute alongside fellow prop Daniel Smith, who was preferred to Jacques O’Neill.

The Wolves had the better of the opening exchanges and nudged themselves in front courtesy of an early penalty goal from Dec Patton but Cas soon responded as they got into their stride. It started with an excellent run from Trueman as he dummied at the play-the-ball deep inside his own half and broke clear down the blindside to take play into Warrington territory. From there, Mata’utia linked with Jordan Rankin who sent James Clare over in the corner for his sixth try in three games, Mata’utia’s conversion from out wide making it 6-2.

This sparked a strong period within the game for the Tigers as they piled the pressure on the Wolves. Clare went close to notching his second as the Fords continued to target the away side’s right flank, whilst Egodo looked to have bagged a try for himself on the opposite wing only for the officials to rule he’d knocked on whilst reaching for the line. Mike McMeeken also couldn’t quite cling on under pressure with space outside of him after Rankin had climbed up above opposite number Jake Mamo to claim Trueman’s high kick and set up another chance for the Tigers.

In between the action, Mata’utia knocked over three penalty goals, the final one with the last play of the half, to ensure Cas did at least come away with some points, and the two-score lead proved useful when the Wolves hit back in the 35th minute through Jake Mamo’s try, Patton converting to leave it 12-8 at the break.

Warrington again came out of the blocks quickly and posted the first points after the restart as Tom Lineham nudged the visitors back in front with a neat finish out wide. However, in a similar fashion to the first half, the Tigers responded to their opponents’ initial superiority to work the field position for a response, Greg Minikin the beneficiary this time as Rankin found space on the right to send the centre through a gap after a nicely worked move.

Another try soon followed, albeit this one against the run of play. Ex-Tiger Daryl Clark looked to have made the break to set up a score for Warrington at one end only to be halted by an excellent recovery tackle from Egodo. From there, the Wolves inexplicably tried their luck down the blindside once again on the next play, but Egodo was waiting to pressure Josh Charnley and the winger’s wild pass in field was swooped on by Trueman as he raced 60 metres to finish.

Mata’utia was on target from out wide this time and the lead was suddenly out to 22-14, which quickly became 26-14. Cas were mounting the pressure continuously, aided by some uncharacteristic errors from the Wolves, and it was to be Egodo who capitalised next. The winger’s defence had set up the previous score but this time it was to be him who touched down, Rankin once again chiming into the line perfectly to create the overlap for Egodo to finish strongly inside the corner flag.

With the lead standing at 12 points – the equivalent of two converted tries – the Wolves weren’t out of it just yet and the Coral Challenge Cup semi-finalists came on strongly in the final quarter. It took some resolute Cas defence to keep them at bay, a rear-guard that was only broken courtesy of a fortunate pass from Blake Austin that sent Toby King over a few metres in from touch to test Tigers nerves.

Crucially, Patton couldn’t add the extras though to leave the Wolves still chasing the game in the final stages and they could find no further way back into the contest as the Tigers ran down the clock to secure a vital victory, Trueman putting the icing on the kick with a drop goal in the final minute.

 

Full Time: Castleford Tigers 27-18 Warrington Wolves

 

Castleford Tigers

Rankin, Clare, Minikin, Mata’utia, Egodo, Trueman, McShane, Massey, Milner, Clarkson, Holmes, McMeeken, Sene-Lefao

Interchange

Watts, Millington, Aston, Smith

Tries: Clare, Minikin, Trueman, Egodo

Conversions: Mata’utia (2/4)

Penalties: Mata’utia (3/3)

Drop Goal: Trueman

Warrington Wolves

Mamo, Lineham, Goodwin, King, Charnley, Austin, Patton, Hill, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, J Clark

Interchange

Philbin, Davis, Tasi, Walker

Tries: Mamo, Lineham, King

Conversions: Patton (2/3)

Penalties: Patton (1/1)

Attendance: 6,965

 

*Match report by Matt Holden

**Photography by Melanie Allatt Photography

*** Golden Gamble Number: 05158

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