Castleford 0-38 Warrington: The mistake that highlighted Castleford’s fragile nature in Warrington rout
Castleford were brought back down to earth with a bump as league leaders Warrington served them a 38-0 thrashing on Friday night.
Daryl Powell’s side ran in seven unanswered tries to quickly extinguish any positivity at The Jungle created by the morale-boosting first win of the season over Leeds last week.
It was far from the ideal performance for interim head coach Andy Last to stake his claim for the job on a permanent basis, and he felt it highlighted their fragile side.
They were denied an early try from a Paul McShane break and kick, with Matt Dufty getting back to prevent Jason Qareqare touching down, and Bureta Faraimo was held up over the line.
Although Sam Kasiano gave Warrington the lead on eight minutes, it was the nature of their second try midway through the first half that hurt Castleford.
Greg Eden fielded a kick and then flung a loose pass in front of his own posts that skidded across his own in-goal area and Matty Russell won the race to touch down.
Last said: “The fragile nature of our team was evident after Greg Eden came up with a mistake. He came up with a pass when he should have carried, and that took some juice out of us. Before you know it, you’ve gone from 6-0 down to 18-0 down. We chased the scoreboard a bit and made some poor decisions.
“We’re a little bit rattled. Very disappointed to put such a disappointing performance at home on back of last week. We spoke about consistency but didn’t get it tonight. They’re a very good side, we knew what was coming. From the first minute to the 80th we couldn’t control them. They had us on the ropes. When we opened up, they played through the middle; when we played tight they opened us up on the outside.
“You’ve got to give credit to them. Second half they kicked really well and got repeat sets. Vaughan has been massive for them. He was awesome tonight. George Williams has continued his form from the World Cup, and looks really comfortable. We were quite clearly second best.
“We practised combination tackles and spoke about getting first contact and positive marker play, but knowing what’s coming and stopping it are two different matters. They dominated the collision offensively and defensively. We need to be so much better to give ourselves a chance against the better teams. The lads are disappointed and we’ll get back to it tomorrow.”
Eden’s mistake was compounded by the fact Warrington went back-to-back, as they marched Castleford back down field and laid a platform for Thomas Mikaele to burst in through the middle.
The game was all but dead and buried by half time, Russell finishing smartly in the right corner to put the Wolves 24-0 to the good.
There were no real signs of life from Castleford in the second half either, as Warrington upped their defensive intensity further and controlled the game.
Two smart George Williams kicks forced repeat sets, before a flurry of three tries in 10 minutes put the result well beyond doubt.
The imperious Paul Vaughan finished his 51 minute stint from the start with a try, reaching out to put the ball on the whitewash after taking an offload from George Williams, before Williams himself did the same five minutes later after a neat link up with Ben Currie.
Danny Walker, who replaced Daryl Clark carrying a knock midway through the first half, then burst through the line from dummy half and put the ball up through the back door for Matty Nicholson to shift inside for Matt Dufty to score.
Although no further tries followed, Warrington had complete control and even when called in to rare defensive action at their own end, they stood firm as Castleford were nilled at home for the second time this season.
Castleford have now lost five out of six to start the season, and have conceded 30 or more in four of those defeats.
Last is still waiting to hear what the long-term future holds for the club, but for now he has to prepare the Tigers for a trip to Catalans.
He added: “There’s no timescales at the moment. Results like that, are not going to help me! The worry for me is we go to Catalans next week and they’re the other unbeaten team. The challenge for us is turning up week in, week out.”