Rugby League: Love is all Warrington need

Warrington Wolves 19 Castleford Tigers 14
Click to follow
THEY HAVE shortened the name on the back of Toa Kohe-Love's jersey to just plain Love; he showed little affection or generosity of spirit towards Castleford yesterday.

Kohe-Love scored two tries in an outstanding centre display against the Castleford side who never got over the loss of their stand-off, Danny Orr, towards the end of the first half.

Orr twisted knee ligaments in a tackle and must be considered doubtful for the Challenge Cup semi-final against the London Broncos on Saturday. Although he had no complaints about that particular incident, his coach, Stuart Raper, said afterwards: "That was the plan from the start. They were going to try to take him out of the game and they succeeded. It's something the game is going to have to take a look at."

In fact, the seeds of Castleford's downfall were already sown long before Orr, Man of the Match, in all three rounds of the cup so far, was carried off on a stretcher. They were losing far too much ball and, from one such mistake by Nathan Sykes, Kohe-Love turned the gift of possession into Warrington's first try.

The home side were not much more secure and, after John Roper had lost the ball through an ill-advised pass to Mark Forster, Cas hit back with Brad Davis and Adrian Vowles sending Richard Gay over in the corner for a try that Orr converted splendidly. Warrington responded rapidly through Ian Knott and Lee Briers' dropped goal put them three points ahead at the break.

For all its technical imperfections, it was a gripping match and the lead changed hands again early in the second half, Kohe-Love putting the one real blemish on his game by failing to take Aaron Raper's kick.

Although John Wells was taken into touch, the ball was kept alive for Mike Eagar to touch down against his old club. Warrington had some intense pressure to survive after that, but then Kohe-Love took a pass from Briers, to shimmy through for his second.

"He's on fire," said his coach, Darryl Van de Velve. "You can't coach that; he's just got it."

Briers scored himself from Danny Farrar's miss-out pass and when he kicked the goal Warrington were clearly in a winning position. But what Castleford lacked in precision, they almost made up for in tenacity. Davis darted through for a try that made it uncomfortably close in the last few minutes and it could have been closer still if Jason Flowers had not put down a pass on the right wing.

They had not done enough to win, however, and the addition of Dean Sampson and Raper to their injury list promises a busy weekend on the treatment table before they face the Broncos.

"We're still not playing as well as we should," Van de Velve said, "but after last week's hammering at Bradford, this was welcome relief."

Warrington: Roper; Roach, Kohe-Love, Hunt, Forster; Wilson, Briers; Hilton, Farrar, Nutley, Knott, Gillies, Wainwright. Substitutes used: Hanger, Chambers, Causey, McCurrie.

Castleford: Flowers; Gay, Eagar, Vowles, Rogers; Orr, Davis; Sampson, Raper, Sykes, Fritz, Tonks, Harland. Substitutes used: Pickering, Lynch, Tallec, Wells.

Referee: S Ganson (St Helens).