BEFORE everything else, this was a superb advert for rugby league in this part of the world.

Two sides competing at the right end of the competition going at it hammer and tongs, in a game that kept us enthralled right up until the very last moments.

The game is about entertainment and while Friday supplied that in spades, the majority of the 9,000 or so people inside The Halliwell Jones Stadium would have taken a dull Wire victory over an enthralling defeat.

We all arrived expecting Warrington to put more distance between themselves and Castleford with a ninth home win in a row.

Nobody expected them to be 12-0 down after just seven minutes.

Did the Wire players turn up with a complacent mindset? Only they will know, but they did respond well and moved into the lead with some very well-executed tries.

Still, there was no point at which The Wire felt in full control of proceedings and their ability to remain in charge was damaged when Kevin Brown withdrew through injury.

There was not as much impact from the bench as there usually is, even if Sitaleki Akauola marked his stint with a try.

After the break, a critical period came when Adam Milner was sin-binned for a shoulder charge on Tyrone Roberts.

The Wire needed to make more of that period. Now was the time for them to get back to the basics of completion and building pressure.

They did get over the line, but they needed more than that to truly stamp their mark on the game.

It cannot be said that their attack failed. Warrington did outscore their opponents in terms of tries and if Harvey Livett had displayed his usual accuracy from the kicking tee, we could be discussing an altogether different result.

However, The Wire left the back door open and Castleford – without so many key players – kicked it down and charged through.

Credit has to go to the patched-up visitors. They capitalised on a lack of energy in the Wire side to full effect.

They now have a fairly lengthy turnaround to lick their wounds and, more importantly, build themselves back up again.

Perhaps the Challenge Cup victory over Wigan took more out of them than we all thought.


. The Wire’s first defeat in eight home games in all competitions.

. Loss means Widnes remain the only side Wire have completed a league 'double' over in 2018


Super League, Round 17.

Friday, June 8, 2018.

Warrington Wolves…30 Castleford Tigers…34 Wolves: Stefan Ratchford; Josh Charnley, Ryan Atkins, Bryson Goodwin, Tom Lineham; Kevin Brown, Tyrone Roberts; Chris Hill, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Jack Hughes, Harvey Livett, Ben Westwood. Subs: Ben Murdoch-Masila, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Sitaleki Akauola.

Tigers: Calum Turner; Greg Minikin, Alex Foster, Michael Shenton, Jy Hitchcox; Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e, Jake Trueman; Matt Cook, Adam Milner, Grant Millington, Joe Wardle, Mike McMeeken, Jesse Sene-Lefao. Subs: Oliver Holmes, Nathan Massey, Mitch Clark, Will Maher.

Scoring: McMeeken try, 5mins, Turner goal, 0-6; Turner try, 7mins, Turner goal, 0-12; Roberts try, 12mins, 4-12; Ratchford try, 17mins, 8-12; Clark try, 20mins, Livett goal, 14-12; Akauola try, 31mins, Livett goal, 20-12; Hitchcox try, 35mins, Turner goal, 20-18; Turner penalty, 40mins, 20-20; Charnley try, 53mins, 24-20; Laulu-Togaga’e try, 62mins, Turner goal, 24-26; Holmes try, 67mins, Turner goal; 24-32; Charnley try, 70mins, Goodwin goal, 30-32; Milner penalty, 75mins, 30-34.

Penalties: Wolves 6 Tigers 9.

Sin bin: Milner (47mins, shoulder charge).

Referee: Ben Thaler.

Attendance: 9,189.

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