Wolves run wild to justify their favourites tag

Warrington 40 Castleford 24

The Halliwell Jones Stadium

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)

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test