Late try downs Tigers
Posted: Thursday 10th September 2020 - 10:54 PM
A try two minutes from time saw Warrington secure a narrow 12-10 victory over the Tigers.
The late heartbreak was made all the worse following an 80 minutes at the Totally Wicked Stadium that Castleford dominated for large periods but in the end they were left to rue a series of missed opportunities as the Wolves took the lead for the first time in the closing stages to go top of the Betfred Super League table.
Cas’ grip on the game began in the early stages as they made a much better start than in last week’s comeback win over Salford having stuck to the same 13 as that win over the Red Devils. Jacques O’Neill did earn a recall to the bench in place of Calum Turner in the only change, but it was the starting pack that played a big part in Cas having much the better of the first quarter as they kept the opposition penned inside their own half.
Having seen two early attacking opportunities pass them by following harsh decisions at the ruck, the Fords saw more bad fortune early on when Danny Richardson’s try was controversially chalked off by the video referee. However, they stuck to their task and deservedly hit the lead in the 20th minute when Gareth O’Brien reacted quickest to Richardson’s grubber into the in-goal after good work from Peter Mata’utia in the build-up.
The Wolves – without half a dozen players due to Covid protocols as well as former Cas hooker Daryl Clark who was absent for the anticipated birth of his first child – struggled to earn any field position in the opening half an hour and O’Brien showed his defensive skills with a brilliant clearing run as the Wire’s first real spell of possession passed without threat.
At the other end, Mata’utia continued to look a dangerous running threat down the left edge but his teammates were unable to get up in close enough support to capitalise on a couple of half chances, whilst Grant Millington was held up over the line as he searched for a way through.
Warrington’s attacking opportunities were limited inside the opening 40 but Anthony Gelling did manage to touch down for the Wolves on the stroke of half-time to tie the scores at 6-6 and his side’s momentum continued in the opening battles after the break.
In what was looking increasingly certain to be a close contest, were forced into some scrambling defence to keep the contest all-square but the introduction of O’Neill provided a spark around the middle of the field as his strong run laid the platform for a repeat set as the Tigers worked their way back into the contest 10 minutes into the second half.
Although unable to find the line initially in the resulting passage of play, a late tackle on Derrell Olpherts as he chased his own kick ahead saw Jake Mamo sin-binned for the Wolves and Cas took advantage with another shift play to the right edge and this time Olpherts was unmarked as he touched down out wide.
However, Richardson couldn’t add the difficult extras from out wide and it went on to leave the door open for the Wolves who capitalised to secure their seventh consecutive win and their fifth in a row since the restart as Ben Currie made the break and Matty Ashton pushed up on the inside to score under the posts to give Ratchford the easiest of tasks to secure the spoils.
With a new league table format announced during the week, it leaves Cas with it all to do to secure a play-off place at the end of the season, but the Tigers must lick their wounds quickly ahead of a second match in four days when they face Hull in the Coral Challenge Cup on Sunday.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 10-12 Warrington Wolves
O’Brien, Olpherts, Foster, Shenton, Eden, Mata’utia, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Griffin, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey
Millington, Milner, Moors, O’Neill
Tries: O’Brien, Olpherts
Conversions: Richardson (1/2)
Ashton, Lineham, Mamo, Gelling, Charnley, Austin, Ratchford, Latu, Walker, Cooper, Currie, King, Murdoch-Masila
Patton, Johnson, Robson, Doro
Tries: Gelling, Ashton
Conversions: Ratchford (2/2)
Sin Bin: Mamo
*Match report by Matt Holden
**Photography by SWPix
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