IT has been a long time since The Halliwell Jones Stadium has seen its home team cut loose in such a manner.

Indeed, not since Hull FC were smashed for 80 points back in August 2018 have Warrington Wolves run up as dominant a scoreline on their home ground as they did against Castleford Tigers yesterday.

Eight different try-scorers combined for 11 tries in total as Gary Chambers' side strengthened their grip on a play-off place.

Our Wire reporter Matt Turner was at the game and brings us some of his key talking points in 'The Morning After'...

Warrington Guardian:

Wire eventually find their ruthless streak

It seems amazing to say Wire may reflect on some of the chances they missed having just run up a devastating scoreline.

A 66-12 drubbing is bad enough for a Castleford side for whom everything that could have gone wrong did so, but it could have been so much worse.

Two certain tries from line breaks – one in either half – were inexplicably bombed while George Williams was denied before the break by a flick of Joe Westerman’s hand to knock the ball from his grasp as he reached to touch down.

When Greg Eden touched down to cut Wire’s lead to six points, fears heightened that they would be made to pay for their profligacy.

Eventually, though, they found their groove to mercilessly pile the misery onto their beleaguered visitors.

Warrington Guardian: This Daryl Clark try was one of eight scored by Wire in the second halfThis Daryl Clark try was one of eight scored by Wire in the second half (Image: Mike Boden)

A happy team is a dangerous team

It was noticeable even during the warm-up that smiles on faces were prominent among the Wire players.

It may seem simple and irrelevant, but that kind of mood has been in short supply of late and they are clearly enjoying themselves currently.

Their simplified way of playing is highlighting their strengths – a huge and mobile pack laying a strong platform via fast and direct play before the flair players take over.

They appear a confident and vibrant team again on this evidence but perhaps more pertinently, they appear to be a happy team.

And when a squad is enjoying its rugby, it makes them an even more dangerous proposition.

Warrington Guardian: Paul Vaughan is all smiles after scoring his second tryPaul Vaughan is all smiles after scoring his second try (Image: Mike Boden)

Dazzling Dufty’s upturn continues

Wire’s Australian full-back will freely admit he has not been as consistent as he would have liked to have been during his first full season on these shores.

With strict instructions to buzz around the middle of the field as opposed to drifting to the edges, however, his form has lifted significantly since Gary Chambers took over.

He was directly involved in five of his side’s 11 tries, scoring twice – it would have been a hat-trick had he not dropped Matty Nicholson’s inside ball with a clear run to the line – and assisting another three.

Putting him around bigger and more cumbersome players allows him to use his biggest weapons – his speed and footwork – to devastating effect.

If this current purple patch extends further, he could well play a big part in Wire not only making the play-offs but causing problems within them.

Warrington Guardian: Matt Dufty scored two tries and set up three others in a superb displayMatt Dufty scored two tries and set up three others in a superb display (Image: Mike Boden)

Another display of Nicholson’s promise

When Warrington pulled out all the stops to prise Matty Nicholson away from Wigan, they did so insisting that they were signing one of the country’s most talented young forwards.

Injuries have disrupted his first full season at the club, but this display gave another glimpse as to the undoubted talent he has.

More than 100 metres made with the ball and some exquisite back-row lines run, evidenced perfectly by the try he scored off Sam Kasiano’s delicate tip-on.

His basic aim will be to stay fit for the remainder of the year and if he does, he will only grow further.

It will certainly be interesting to see if Sam Burgess goes ahead with the plan to move him to loose forward when Lachlan Fitzgibbon, who has finished the NRL season among the competition’s leading back-rowers on form, arrives next year given the form he has shown on the edges.

Warrington Guardian: Matty Nicholson touches downMatty Nicholson touches down (Image: Mike Boden)

Now for the big one…

In this “run-in” to the end of the season, the trip to Salford Red Devils certainly stuck out as being particularly key for both sides.

This result and performance means Wire can head to the AJ Bell Stadium in good form and high on confidence, with a two-point cushion and a heavily-boosted points difference aiding them.

Victory next weekend will all but secure their top-six spot, but defeat will make for a nervy final two games.

Warrington Guardian: Wire could all but seal their play-off spot with a victory at Salford next weekWire could all but seal their play-off spot with a victory at Salford next week (Image: Mike Boden)