Briers' breakaway crushes Tigers

Castleford 16 Warrington 28
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The Independent Online

The opportunism of Warrington's half-backs gave them the winning edge in a fascinatingly tight struggle here. Although frustrated by Castleford for long periods, the Wolves squeezed home thanks to tries out of the blue from Lee Briers and Richie Myler in the second half – the first an intercept, the second from a loose ball.

Impressive wins by both sides last weekend made this an eagerly awaited contest at this early stage in the Super League season. But there was little of last week's expansive rugby in an attritional first quarter as both sides struggled for an advantage. Castleford suffered an early setback when a rubber- legged Paul Jackson had to be helped from the field after appearing to catch a stray knee in a tackle on Garreth Carvell.

After 12 minutes, though, the home side were in front. Brent Sherwin took Ryan Hudson's pass from dummy-half and popped the perfect short ball to send James Evans on an angle to the try-line. The Tigers were in even better shape soon after when Rangi Chase's kick down the right touchline put them on the attack. A switch to the other side saw Sherwin again produce the killer pass to Ryan McGoldrick coming into the line, who released Joe Westerman.

Apart from some sterling tackling, the key factor that enabled the Tigers to keep Warrington at bay to this point was their ability to read Lee Briers' kicking game. But all that changed in the few minutes before half-time.

First, the Wolves stand-off threaded through a grubber and, although he could not quite reach it himself, Simon Grix did and touched down. Then Briers launched one to the right wing and Chris Riley, scorer of five tries against Harlequins last week, put Warrington level at the break.

Castleford went ahead again when Sherwin's skidding kick came off Richie Mathers' chest for Evans to claim a gift second. But Warrington were level once more when Briers intercepted from Chase and found the legs to go 40 metres, only for Westerman to edge Castleford back in front with a penalty.

Richie Myler pounced for another breakaway try to put the Wolves ahead for the first time. Castleford were denied an equaliser by the video referee and Warrington, helped by a penalty from Chris Bridge, held on until Briers' burst and Myler's second try made it safe.

Castleford McGoldrick; Owen, Shenton, Evans, Wainwright; Chase, Sherwin; Jackson, Hudson, Huby, Ferres, Snitch, Westerman. Substitutes used: Widders, Sargent, Jones, Higgins.

Warrington Mathers; Riley, Bridge, Atkins, King; Briers, Myler; Morley, Monaghan, Carvell, L Anderson, Westwood, Harrison. Substitutes used: Higham, Grix, Wood, V Anderson.

Referee: B Thaler (Wakefield).