Warrington remain top of the Super League after a 62-0 demolition of Castleford at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Castleford never looked in the game, as the Wolves celebrated the efforts of the country’s armed forces wearing a special camouflage charity kit in front of the Sky cameras.
Gareth O’Brien made his Super League debut for the home side, and was instrumental in ensuring the Wolves made the local servicemen in attendance proud.
It was O’Brien opened the scoring with a superb side step which fooled the Castleford defence on the left side of the field. O’Brien was the only person in the stands who spotted the gap, that that gave Warrington the early lead.
But whatever the young gun could do the old veteran Lee Briers could do better. Briers mirrored O’Brien’s try on the right side of the field, which doubled the Wolves’ lead before the timer had reached ten minutes.
Then on the quarter of an hour mark the Wolves increased their lead further. It was the youngster O’Brien again who set up the try. His pass put Brett Hodgson in a two on one situation. Hodgson’s pass out to the winger, Matt King, was enough to send the former Australian winger in for only his third try of the season.
It was all Warrington in the opening 20 minutes and their fourth try of the half summed up the Wolves’ luck brilliantly. O’Brien’s high kick found Matt King twenty metres from the Tigers’ try line. King was able to offload the ball out of the back door to find O’Brien again, who kicked the ball for a chasing Hodgson, and the fullback touched down to put 20 points on the scoreboard in 25 minutes.
Castleford had chances, but they just weren’t capable of converting them into points. Richie Matcher made a break fifteen metres from the Wolves line, but the impact of the tackle as he was brought short was enough to dislodge the ball and Castleford were left scoreless at half time.
Lee Briers rounded off the Wolves’ tries two minutes before half time. A small stab of a grubber kick intended for the in-goal found the posts, and Briers picked up the ricocheted ball to put Warrington’s lead to 28 points at half time.
The Wolves dominated the first half exactly like they did in the first. It took them eight minutes to stretch their lead further. Hodgson spotted a gap in the Tigers’ defence yet again and slipped through with ease. He had Simon Girx on his inside to touch down behind the sticks.
Five minutes later Grix extended his side’s lead taking them to the 40 point mark. Grix scoring the simplest of tries, his pass from Mickey Higham at dummy half set up the former Halifax back rower who powered over the try line.
Then it was Higham himself who put four points on the scoreboard. Briers’ grubber kick towards the posts bamboozled the Castleford defence yet again, and HIgham was the first to dive on the ball in-goal to score the try.
Warrington’s third try in the space of that ten minutes spell came from Ryan Atkins, and Castleford’s confidence was taking a battering. David Solomona’s early efforts making his team yards was rewarded with a try ten minutes before the end of the match.
Joel Monagahan rounded off the scoring for the Wolves. Chris Bridge’s break on the right side of the field was supported by the former Australian three quarter, sending the ten thousand Warrington supporters home happy.
Warrington: Hodgson, J Monaghan, Bridge, Atkins, Knig, Briers, O’Brien, Morley, M Monaghan, Carvell, Anderson, Westwood, Grix. Subs: Higham, Wood, Cooper, Solomona.
Castleford: Mathers, Dixon, McGoldrick, Arundel, Own, Chase, Orr, Massey, Hudson, Fozzard, Ferres, Jones, Aspinwall. Subs: Emmitt, Milner, Jackson, Widders.
Warrington tries: O’Brien, Briers (2), King, Hodgson, Grix (2), Higham, Solomona, J Monaghan. Goals: Hodgson (5), Briers (2).
Referee: Steve Ganson