PLAYING rugby league on these shores requires a certain level of adaptability.

On a partially-submerged pitch in West Yorkshire, The Wire certainly showed they had that in spades.

Their fourth victory in a row, and sixth in 10 outings in 2018, was probably their most impressive to date against the League Leaders’ Shield holders who very rarely lose at home.

The home side deserve credit for going above and beyond for getting the game on, but that is where their praise ends.

From very early, it was clear Warrington had adapted better to the treacherous conditions, just as they had done at Catalans Dragons two weeks previously.

This game was always going to be about substance over style, but Wolves still showed flashes of quality on a pitch that would have been more suitable for a boat race than a rugby match.

In between two Stefan Ratchford penalties, Tyrone Roberts’ superb delayed pass sent Jack Hughes scorching through the line. He found the scrum-half on his inside but the Australian was unfortunate to be hauled down just short of the line.

If that was a warning shot, Castleford did not heed it.

Another nice handling move sent Toby King aquaplaning over right on half-time and the foundations were laid for a famous victory.

Even when Oliver Holmes struck back for the Tigers, one could not help but be impressed with the way Warrington kept their composure and discipline.

For a side that was rightly chastised for giving away too many needless penalties earlier in the season, a count of just four against represents a significant improvement.

Chris Hill and Mike Cooper once again led from the front, while Wolves again lost nothing when the interchanges came off the bench.

The final word, however, has to go to Daryl Clark. In a season in which he has generally been in sparkling form, Monday was another step up.

His try right on the final hooter was just reward for another display akin to those he lit up Wheldon Road with in his Man of Steel-winning 2014 campaign with the Tigers.

You could tell by the celebrations at the end of the game just how much this result meant to the Wire players.

Their confidence is growing by the week and the belief is there that they could be a real force in Super League this year.


. Castleford’s first home defeat of the season.

. Toby King’s third try in two matches.

. Four penalties conceded is The Wire’s fewest of 2018 so far.


Super League, Round Nine.

Monday, April 2, 2018.

Castleford Tigers…6 Warrington Wolves…18

Tigers: Jake Trueman; Greg Minikin, Jake Webster, Michael Shenton, James Clare; Ben Roberts, Luke Gale; Nathan Massey, Paul McShane, Liam Watts, Oliver Holmes, Mike McMeeken, Adam Milner. Subs: Junior Moors, Grant Millington, Alex Foster, Matt Cook.

Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Josh Charnley, Toby King, Ryan Atkins, Tom Lineham; Kevin Brown, Tyrone Roberts; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Ben Currie, Ben Westwood. Subs: Ben Murdoch-Masila, Joe Philbin, Dom Crosby, Sitaleki Akauola.

Scoring: Ratchford penalty, 20mins, 0-2; Ratchford penalty, 38mins, 0-4; King try, 40mins, Ratchford goal, 0-10; Holmes try, 52mins, Gale goal, 6-10; Ratchford penalty, 70mins, 6-12; Clark try, 80mins, Ratchford goal, 6-18.

Penalties: Tigers 4 Wolves 5.

Referee: Robert Hicks.

Attendance: 6,881.

Top man (Guardian readers’ vote): Daryl Clark.