Wolves run wild to justify their favourites tag
Warrington 40 Castleford 24
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
The Halliwell Jones Stadium
Sunday 03 February 2013
Warrington might be the least-changed team in Super League, but they showed in a first-half demolition of Castleford exactly why they are favourites to win it.
The Wolves have not signed a single new player this winter, but their tried and tested troops were good enough to give them a match-winning lead before a new-look Castleford could even get started.
Ben Westwood scored twice as he carried on his form from last season. "People are used to me raving on about him, but he deserves it," said his coach, Tony Smith.
As a whole, though, the Wolves were guilty of easing off and losing direction in the second half, although Smith preferred to compliment a gutsy effort from Castleford.
"I though Cas had a real dig," he said. "They've got some attacking ability this year and they will cause some problems."
Four tries in the first 13 minutes defined the early chasm between the quality of the two teams. Chris Riley began the rout when Ryan Atkins's pass was deflected into his hands.
If there was a touch of good fortune about that try, the second was pure class, started by Simon Grix's break from deep and finsihed by Atkins. Lee Briers's long, lofted pass then presented young Rhys Evans with a simple score.
Unlike the Wolves, Cas have invested in a number of new players for this season. One of the seven newcomers, Justin Carney, was responsible for the lost ball that resulted in Richie Myler sidestepping through for the fourth, before clever handling by Evans gave Westwood a first try at the start of his testimonial season.
Castleford's former man of steel, Rangi Chase, was trying hard to spark the Tigers, but all too often he misfired with some erratic passing.
Cas did manage two tries, from Carney and Michael Shenton, before half-time, although they were separated by one for the Wolves from Garreth Carvell. When Westwood scored his second a couple of minutes after the interval, Warrington looked certain to be one of the weekend's runaway winners.
It did not quite work out like that, with Cas stepping up their efforts and the home side going off the boil. The outcome was tries from Jake Webster and Richard Owen, with Jamie Ellis completing a haul of four goals.
"If we'd got one of two more tries, it could have been a great last 10 minutes," said the Castleford coach, Ian Millward. "I was proud of the players after they'd been so far behind so early.
"Our enthusiasm and toughness were good, but not always our execution."
Scorers: Warrington: Tries: Riley, Atkins, Evans, Myler, Westwood 2, Carvell Goals: Briers, Hodgson 5. Castleford: Tries: Carney, Shenton, Owen, Webster Goals: Ellis 4 Warrington: Hodgson; Riley, Atkins, Evans, J. Monaghan; Briers, Myler; Morley, M. Monaghan, Hill, Grix, Westwood, Harrison. Replacements: Carvell, Waterhouse, Higham, Ratchford. Castleford: Tansey; Carney, Shenton, Webster, Owen; Chase, Ellis; Mason, Milner, Huby, Gilmour, Hauraki, Holmes. Replacements: Walker, Clark, Massey, Millington. Referee: R Hicks (Oldham)
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo applauded by Liverpool fans after master-class for Real Madrid, despite Manchester United ties
Angel Di Maria injury latest: Argentina international set to play in Manchester United vs Chelsea match
Real Madrid vs Barcelona: Cristiano Ronaldo says he is playing Barca - not just Lionel Messi - in El Clasico
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
Diego Costa injury: Chelsea striker forced into hospital ahead of Manchester United clash - reports
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are