Tigers downed by Wolves
Posted: Saturday 22nd May 2021 - 8:00 PM
A depleted Castleford Tigers side suffered a 38-14 away defeat to Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The Tigers were without Niall Evalds, Oliver Holmes, and Peter Mata’utia who unfortunately pulled up with injuries ahead of kick-off, Evalds with his calf during the team run, Holmes had a trapped nerve is his neck on the morning of the game and Mata’utia suffered a back issue just before the game started.
On his 100th Castleford appearance, James Clare was then moved to fullback, Jesse Sene-Lefao to centre, Brad Martin started in the back row and Lewis Bienek moved onto the bench.
Despite a number of forced changes, it was Castleford who struck first, early, Paul McShane doing another trademark run at dummy half and he found a huge gap to gift a score to Jake Trueman under the posts for Richardson to easily convert.
Steve Price’s men struck back in the 12th minute with a setup play to the left, a hit-out pass was given to Josh Charnley and he raced over 15m to dive into the corner. It didn’t take long for them to get their second, a small mistake from Shenton which knocked the ball out of Daryl Clark’s hands gave them a set 40m out. The ball was moved left to Toby King and he crashed over, Ratchford followed it up with his first conversion of the day.
As the Tigers moved back to the halfway line there stood the imposing frame of Suaia Matagi who came on for his Castleford debut. Throughout the game, he showed signs of what he can do to defensive lines and earned praise from Daryl Powell in the post-match press conference.
Throughout the match the Fords forced several goal-line drop-outs and off the first one Warrington had to concede, they also conceded points. The ball was moved to the left edge and Shenton threw a delicate pass to Jordan Turner who dived into the corner for a score leveling try. Richardson just missing the kick to take a lead, but it would have been brief.
Some soft Cas defending allowed King to come into the middle of the field and pass to Widdop, as he moves to the line the Tigers are tried to tackle him but he twists to plant the ball down. Ratchford missed the conversion but was given another shot for two points after Castleford were penalized for a dangerous tackle, 30m out and in front of the posts, he gave Wire a six-point lead, 16-10. There were some late chances for Wolves, but Cas held firm to keep both Blake Austin and Jason Clark out from scoring ahead of the break.
The start of the second half was steady for both, Cas repeatedly forcing goal-line drop-outs but they could not make them pay in terms of points. Down on numbers Castleford’s grip on the game began loosening around the hour mark, with Ratchford cutting through the Tigers line twice and finding a pass for Widdop twice for him to cruise over under the posts on both occasions and complete a hat-trick.
Wire twisted the screw with further scores from King for his second try at the end of a play on the left edge, and then Daryl Clark to put the result beyond doubt by scooting next to the line and whilst being tackled, twisted around, and plonked the ball down.
Castleford got the last points of the game after a Richardson high ball was left to bounce, Trueman collected and threw a pass to the left for Jordan Turner to get a brace. Richardson hurriedly took the kick, but it just missed.
Daryl Powell was pleased with his players strong efforts for the majority of the match following so many late changes to the line-up.
The Tigers will be out for revenge on Saturday, 5th June in the Betfred Challenge Cup semi-final when Castleford will play Warrington again, but this time for a spot a Wembley.
Ratchford; Thewlis, Mamo, King, Charnley; Austin, Widdop; Hill, D. Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Philbin
Interchanges: J. Clark, Mulhern, Davis, Butler.
Tries: Charnley, King (2), Widdop (3), D. Clark
Goals: Ratchford (4)
Clark; Olpherts, Mata'utia, Shenton, Turner; Richardson, Trueman, Massey, McShane, Smith, Griffin, Sene-Lefao, Milner
Interchanges: Hepi, Matagi, Peachey, Martin
Tries: Trueman, Turner (2)
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