Super League: Castleford Tigers 14-26 Warrington Wolves
|Betfred Super League|
|Castleford (6) 14|
|Tries: Aston, Egodo, Minikin Goals: Mata'utia|
|Warrington (14) 26|
|Tries: King 2, Cooper, Currie Goals: Ratchford 5|
Warrington ran in four tries at Wheldon Road to beat injury-hit Castleford and move back within two points of Super League leaders St Helens.
Although Cory Aston's early try put Cas ahead, first-half tries for Mike Cooper and Toby King saw Wire seize control.
King got his second and Ben Currie added another as the visitors restarted dynamically, Stefan Ratchford taking his goal tally to five.
Tuoyo Egodo and Greg Minikin got two tries back but it was not enough.
Warrington boss Steve Price made a late change, bringing in winger Jack Johnson for his first Super League game since September 2017 in place of Bryson Goodwin, who succumbed to an ankle injury.
Cas, who drop to seventh after suffering three successive defeats for the first time since 2016, actually took the lead.
Mike McMeeken latched onto the loose ball from a high kick upfield, then made good ground before finding Aston in support at his right shoulder to take the scoring pass.
Peter Mata'utia's conversion improved Aston's third try on only his fourth appearance. But Cas, who gave Australian centre Cheyse Blair an immediate debut following his midweek arrival from Melbourne Storm, were by then already feeling the effect of the seventh-minute loss of influential hooker Paul McShane with a rib injury.
First, former Cas loan man Cooper powerfully took three players over the line with him, doing just enough to get the ball down as video evidence overturned referee Chris Kendall's original on-field verdict.
The boot of Ratchford then put Wire in front, before Cas made a mess of handling one of Blake Austin's high kicks.
Austin was given too much time to hoist his kick, the leaping Greg Eden dropped it and the ball fell into the outstretched arms of a grateful Toby King, who dived over the line to score his third try of the season.
A second Ratchford penalty brought a 14-6 half-time lead before King, then Currie both scored within five minutes of the restart to all but secure a third successive win.
Two tries in three minutes from Egodo and Minikin down the right gave Cas hope. But Calum Turner was wide with his first kick from the touchline and then hooked his second effort off target - and that gave the hosts too big a leeway to make up.
Castleford coach Daryl Powell:
"We're doing it pretty tough. We lost Paul McShane early on and it's a constant theme at the moment.
"I can name a full team that didn't play and it's a pretty good team but when it's happening in games it really affects your performance. It impacts massively.
"I'm hoping we're going to have some competition for places soon because there are a couple of blokes who are not good enough to be in the team at the moment.
"We conceded some soft tries and our start to the second half was appalling. We just made too many errors - we missed touch twice and kicked out on the full, although to be fair to Peter Mata'utia, he turned up ill and we nearly pulled him out of the game."
Warrington coach Steve Price:
"Toby King has started to turn into a first class centre now. The sky is the limit. It's about application and being the ultimate pro and he's starting to learn that trade. I see a really bright future.
"We were always in control. There were a lot of strong performances. This can be a tough place to come so overall I'm very pleased.
"This was our fourth game in two weeks, with no time to plan too much. It's all about recovery. So I'm really pleased that the guys have been able to come through the other side and we now have a long turnaround leading into the Wigan game.
"Bryson was keen to play but I thought it was right to give him a rest. It was a good opportunity for JJ. He missed the whole of the year after snapping his tibia and fibula and has only played three games for Rochdale since getting back but he did some really big things."
Castleford: Mata'utia; Egodo, Minikin, Blair, Eden; Aston, Trueman; Watts, McShane, Maher, Clarkson, McMeeken, Massey.
Interchanges: Milner, Clark, Turner, Smith.
Warrington: Ratchford, Johnson, Atkins, Austin, Patton, King, Charnley, Hill, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Davis.
Interchanges: J Clark, Livett, Philbin, Akauola.
Referee: Chris Kendall (RFL).