Warrington ended Castleford’s 100% start to the season with a 24-10 win at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The Wolves bounced back from defeat at Catalans Dragons last week, while handing the Tigers their first defeat of 2019.
Steve Price made two changes to his Warrington side that lost to Catalans Dragons last week. Ben Currie and Ben Westwood replaced Tom Lineham and Ryan Atkins.
Castleford coach Daryl Powell made one change to his team that beat Hull Kingston Rovers last time out. Alex Foster came in for the suspended Grant Millington.
Castleford took an early lead through Greg Eden, but Warrington levelled the score midway through the first half through Jake Mamo.
Mamo grabbed his second on the half hour mark, before co-captain Jake Hughes scored late in the first half to hand the Wolves a 16-4 lead at the break.
Ben Murdoch-Masila bulldozed over for Warrington in the second half, while Greg Minikin pulled one back for the Tigers.
The game fizzled out in the final quarter and the Wolves ran-out 24-10 winners.
Three talking points
Ratchford sticks hand up for GB
The England international has enjoyed a brilliant start to the season with Warrington but also as an individual.
It’s very rare that you see Ratchford put in an under-par performance. He has been Warrington’s ‘Mr Consistent’ for several years now and he is a delight to watch.
Everything the Wolves did in attack against the Tigers went through Ratchford. He was safe as houses under the high ball and did well in getting his side of yardage. If he carries on in this rich vein of form, there is no reason why he can’t make the Great Britain squad at the end of the year.
Mamo gives Price selection headache
What a performance from Mamo, who made his first start for the Wolves since joining from Huddersfield Giants in the off-season.
He scored two tries to help the hosts secure the two points, but it wasn’t just his try scoring prowess that caught the eye. His carries were strong and explosive, while he was solid in defence.
Mamo, who has come off the bench in the previous two weeks, has given coach Price a selection headache he will welcome. Warrington now have three top quality wingers in Mamo, Josh Charnley and Tom Lineham.
Mamo can also play at full-back or centre, so Price will no doubt be very happy to have Mamo in his squad this year.
Castleford offered very little
Castleford had an off-day, it is as simple as that. The Tigers didn’t look as dangerous in attack as they normally do, and Warrington won the forwards battle.
Their last tackle kicks weren’t great and were easily disposed by the Wolves. If only they had Luke Gale available…
The Tigers have had a good start to the season though and there are lots to remain positive about. Four wins out of five is good going and no doubt Powell will make them come back firing sooner rather than later.
Line-ups and ratings
Warrington: Ratchford (8); Mamo (8), Goodwin (6), King (7), Charnley (7); Austin (7), Patton (8); Hill (7), Clark (8), Cooper (7), Currie (7), Hughes (8), Tasi (7). Subs: Murdoch-Masila (8), Westwood (7), Philbin (7), Clark (7).
Tries: Mamo 2, Hughes, Murdoch-Masila Goals: Ratchford 4/5
Castleford: Mata’utia (6); Clare (5), Minikin (5), Shenton (6), Eden (6); Trueman (6), Rankin (6); Watts (7), McShane (7), Moors (7), Sene-Lefao (6), Clarkson (6), Massey (6). Subs: Foster (5), Cook (6), Egodo (4), O’Neill (5).
Tries: Eden, Minikin Goals: Rankin 1/2
It was a professional performance from Warrington, who don’t seem to have any weaknesses position-wise this year.
Ratchford was instrumental for the Wolves, while Dec Patton controlled the game with his kicking. His partnership with Blake Austin is getting better and better every week.
It was fantastic to see Ben Currie make his first appearance in almost a year as well. The England international played the whole game and looked pretty sharp. Having him back will be like a new signing for the Wolves in 2019.
As for Castleford, they just weren’t at the races. Nothing seemed to be working for them going forward and they were sluggish in defence. They’ll bounce back though, there’s no doubt about that.