A Jake Mamo double helped Warrington to a 24-10 victory over Castleford at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Coming into the game Steve Price has made two changes to his side, with Tom Lineham and Ryan Atkins dropping out, replaced by Ben Westwood, and surprisingly after 11 months out, Ben Currie.
Whilst for Daryl Powell Made one change with Grant Millington dropping out and Alex Foster coming in.
The game started with Castleford building the pressure against the Wire, which paid off after seven minutes, with Greg Eden finding the space after a Paul McShane kick to the corner. However, Jordan Rankin was unable to add the extras.
Although the current league leaders were dominant, they let vital chances slip by.
This is something that Powell’s men would eventually regret, as on the 20th minute, Mamo would score his first Wolves try, finishing off a stylish passing play by the Wire in the corner. Stefan Ratchford missed the conversion though.
Mamo was over for his second after finishing off a clinical passing play, diving in at the corner. This time Ratchford added the extras.
Just before half-time Wire were able to score again, this time through Jack Hughes. Coming after a kick to the corner, the second rower was able to break through. Ratchford added the extras.
The second half continued with the same way as the first ended. This time with a penalty kick just in front of the posts. Ratchford added the two points.
Shortly after, Wire were over again through Ben Murdoch-Masila, driving his way from 20 metres out on his way to the line. Ratchford added the extras.
The final score of the game came through Greg Minikin, who broke down the Wolves line to scoring near the posts. Rankin adding the two points.
Although both sides had chances, neither could break each other down in the last fifteen. Up next for the Wolves is Wigan at home, whilst Castleford will be hoping to replicate the Wolves by bouncing back from defeat against Salford at the Jungle.
Ben Currie returns
After missing 11 months due to a second ACL injury, the second rower started and played the full eighty. He brought the reliance in the middle that was missing in the side, and a extra threat in attack. If he stays fit, he could be key for Wire this season.
Mamo selection headache
Jake Mamo made his first start for the Wolves last night, replacing Tom Lineham. However, his inclusion may give Steve Price a few selection headaches in the next few weeks. Scoring two tries and assisting on another, he was the best on field, and brought a new level into the Wolves attack and defence.
Injury crisis for Cas
Although Cas still sit top for the time being, one of the key reasons why they lost is the lack of squad depth. They are having to rely on new signings and youth to get them through. Darryl Powell said of his side, “Our right edge was poor but if you look at the respective benches, we were down on troops a bit. They brought [Ben] Murdoch-Masila off the bench and our bench is a middle, a back-rower, a young hooker and an outside-back, so it was a bench that you probably wouldn’t select every week if you had the option, but the boys are doing a great job at the moment. The steel and spirit in the club is outstanding.”
Cas unbeaten run ends
With Cas’ defeat, there’s only one unbeaten side left in the league – St Helens. The Tigers will be looking to follow in the Wolves footsteps and bounce back quickly. Although were only five rounds into 2019, this season is looking the closest league table since 2015. Only time will tell if we have a breakaway or not.
Warrington Wolves 24
Tries: Mamo 2, Hughes, Murdoch-Masila
Goals: Ratchford 4
Drop Goals: n/a
Castleford Tigers 10
Tries: Minikin, Eden
Drop Goals: n/a
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford, Mamo, Goodwin, King, Charnley, Austin, Patton, Hill, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Tasi. Interchanges: J Clark, Murdoch-Masila, Philbin, Westwood
Castleford Tigers: Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden, Trueman, Rankin, Watts, McShane, Moors, Clarkson, Sene-Lefao, Massey. Interchanges: Foster, Cook, Egodo, O’Neill