Warrington 18-19 Castleford: Tigers keep play-off hopes alive with tense victory

Josh McAllister
Warrington Castleford

Castleford kept their play-off hopes alive following a 19-18 victory over Warrington at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. 

Despite falling 12-0 at half-time, two tries from Derrell Olpherts and another from Jake Mamo gave Castleford a much-needed victory, with Danny Richardson converting all three tries and adding the all-important drop-goal.

Lee Radford’s side remain seventh in the Super League table, but only by points difference. They have 26 points on the table, joint with Salford following their 28-18 victory over Hull. The Tigers face the Red Devils in Round 26, live on Sky Sports.

Match report

After making his Super League debut last week at Leeds, Luke Thomas was named on the bench for his first home appearance. Matty Ashton missed out through injury and was replaced by Josh Thewlis on the wing.

Nathan Massey made a timely return from injury for the Tigers and was named at starting prop. Liam Watts also returned having completed his suspension, featuring from the bench. 

Matt Dufty opened the scoring on eight minutes for the hosts, crashing his way over for his first try in Warrington colours. 

Having converted the first try, Stefan Ratchford doubled the lead on 14 minutes. The England international stepping his way to dive under the sticks for a 12-0 lead. 

Gareth O’Brien shortly left the field after through injury and was replaced by Jake Mamo. 

Warrington should have had their third on 27 minutes, but Peter Mata’utia’s pass back on the inside to James Harrison couldn’t stick. 

Castleford then came inches away from their first just before the break. Greg Eden racing away, only to be tackled just short by Dufty before Thewlis intercepted the next pass.

HT: Warrington 12-0 Castleford

Mamo scored Castleford’s first six minutes into the second 40. Featuring at full-back, with Eden moved to the halves, the Australian grounded a kick from Richardson to score against his former club. 

Off-contract winger Olpherts crossed on 54 minutes thanks to a slick cut-out pass from Richardson, with the half-back converting from out-wide to level the scores at 12-12. 

Richardson then gave his side their first lead of the evening on 64 minutes with a drop-goal, slotting from in front of the sticks.

Crossing for his second try thanks to an assist from Mamo, Olpherts extended that lead heading into the final 10 minutes of the clash.

Warrington’s Mata’utia set up a tense finish, grounding his own grubber kick in the corner with just six remaining on the clock.

George Williams attempted a 40-metre drop-goal in the last 60 seconds, only for his attempt to bounce out dead.

FT: Warrington 18-19 Castleford

Warrington: Dufty, Minikin, Mata’utia, Wardle, Thewlis, Ratchford, Williams, Bullock, D.Clark, Mulhern, Harrison, Holmes, J.Clark. Bench: Currie, Walker, Mikaele, Thomas.

Tries: Dufty, Ratchford, Mata’utia

Goals: Ratchford 3/3

Castleford: Eden, Olpherts, Fonua, Sutcliffe, Faraimo, O’Brien, Richardson, Massey, Griffin, Edwards, Mellor, Westerman. Bench: Mamo, Watts, Lawler, Martin.

Tries: Mamo, Olpherts (2)

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