WARRINGTON Wolves' difficult summer is continuing after Castleford Tigers inflicted yet another defeat upon Daryl Powell's men.

The Wire would have returned to the top of Super League had they won at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle and having dragged themselves back level from 14-0 down, they looked primed to do just that.

However, it was the hosts who emerged victorious after keeping a cool head late on to inflict a fourth defeat in five games in all competitions upon Warrington.

Here, our Wire reporter Matt Turner picks out five key talking points from the game in 'The Morning After'...

Warrington Guardian:

More damage inflicted on player and supporter morale

To many on the terraces, only an emphatic response would have done after what happened in the Challenge Cup on Sunday.

What they actually got will only serve to deepen the growing ill-feeling among the fan base, which was vocally expressed at half time when the team were booed off the field.

For the players too, it will be another dent to confidence that is clearly fragile at the moment and it will perhaps hurt more given they had dragged themselves back from a desperate position only to fall short.

Still, that was a hole they put themselves in thanks to another dismal, error-strewn first half display that was once again littered with basic mistakes.

It was like watching the first half of the Wigan defeat on repeat – is it any wonder supporters are getting angrier?

Warrington Guardian:

Would Williams have made the difference late on?

When Connor Wrench darted over to level the scores inside the final quarter, Wire would have taken the lead had Peter Mata’utia landed an admittedly tough conversion from the right touchline.

Stefan Ratchford – their regular and reliable goal-kicker – was off the field undergoing a HIA at the time. Would he have kicked it? We’ll never know.

Regardless, Wire had their opponents on the ropes and had a golden opportunity to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, only for their composure to let them down late on.

You have to wonder what difference having George Williams on the field would have made in that situation. Would he have grabbed the team by the scruff of the neck and guided them to victory?

Quite possibly, but it was Gareth Widdop – formerly of this parish – who did just that for Castleford to get them home.

Warrington Guardian: Gareth Widdop kicks the pivotal drop goal for CastlefordGareth Widdop kicks the pivotal drop goal for Castleford (Image: SWPix.com)

Another first-half horror show

In many senses, Warrington got what they deserved for another desperately disappointing first-half showing.

Daryl Powell had made a point of saying he wanted his side to start games better several weeks ago and after a bit of a pick-up in that sense, things have gone drastically backwards.

From very early on, they were chasing the game and scrambling to stay in it following James Harrison’s sin-binning as a grim sense of foreboding set in.

Whether it was the concession of cheap penalties or errors in possession that players of this calibre simply should not be making or losing their heads under pressure, there were not many who were left untouched.

Youngsters to the fore in fightback

When everyone was looking to the more experienced members of the Wire side for a response, it was the younger players that stood up to be counted.

Matty Ashton and Connor Wrench are undoubtedly the future of this club as well as the present and it was them who dragged their side back into contention.

Wrench’s try in particular came one set after he made a critical try-saving tackle on Gareth Widdop at the other end, which felt at the time like it could be a turning point.

Josh Thewlis too was ever-committed having also switched to full-back late on following Stefan Ratchford’s HIA.

In another disappointing outcome, they at least stood up to be counted.

Could things get worse before they get better?

Everyone associated with Warrington Wolves will sincerely hope not, but the team is in poor form and availability issues are starting to pile up again.

Matty Nicholson remains a few weeks away from a return, George Williams looks set to miss next week’s clash with Leeds Rhinos at the very least and the club will face a nervous wait to discover whether or not they will be able to call upon James Harrison.

The prop who is currently filling in in the back row was sin-binned early on for a “hip drop” tackle and given how dim a view the Match Review Panel have taken of those kinds of instances, you fear Harrison could well end up copping a ban.

It means more shuffling around and making-do will have to be done for the visit of a Leeds side who can arguably top Wire’s issues with inconsistency.

At the very least, the problems are starting to mount.

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