Castleford 26 Warrington 40: Wolves run in seven tries to deny dogged Tigers
16:50 GMT, 22 July 2012
Warrington survived a superb second-half fightback from Castleford to hold on for a thrilling victory and cement second place in the Stobart Super League.
Trailing 34-0 in the 53rd minute, the Tigers rallied, scoring 26 unanswered points to give themselves a chance of an amazing comeback, but the Wolves were ultimately too strong and sealed the win with a late Stefan Ratchford try.
Warrington, who outscored their opponents seven tries to five in the match, were scintillating in attack in the first period and they grabbed the first points of the afternoon inside the opening two minutes.
Off and running: Ben Westwood scores Warrington Wolves first try
After Tigers full-back Richard Owen dropped the ball inside his own half, the visitors took full advantage when Ben Westwood hit a fantastic line to go over unchallenged, Brett Hodgson adding the extras.
They doubled their lead soon after when Hodgson's cut-out ball was collected by Joel Monaghan, who strolled in for the simplest of finishes to put Tony Smith's side firmly in command.
The hosts then spurned a glorious chance to get back in the game, when Hodgson spilled a neat kick from Rangi Chase – who was making his first appearance since being suspended by the club – but the Tigers could not capitalise, Grant Millington losing possession just short of the Warrington line.
That missed opportunity was pounced upon by the Wolves, when Ryan Atkins was on the end of Richie Myler's superb break to further extend the visitors lead with a third try.
Westwood then grabbed his second of what was becoming a prolific afternoon for the visitors, again courtesy of some sublime work from Myler. Hodgson nailed his fourth conversion from as many attempts to give the Wolves a commanding 24-0 lead.
And there was still time for the Wolves to grab a fifth score before the interval, as Chris Riley produced a moment of individual magic, breaking away before sublimely beating Owen to go over.
The second half continued in similar fashion to the first, and after Westwood almost grabbed his hat-trick, David Solomona marked his return to the Warrington side by crashing over in trademark fashion to collect his first try of the season.
The Tigers finally got on the scoreboard soon after, when Nick Youngquest got on the end of a clever kick by Danny Orr to prevent the home side from the humility of a whitewash.
It then got even better for Ian Millward's men, as they scored a quickfire treble to give the home faithful something to cheer.
First, Rhys Williams scored a superb breakaway try against his parent club, evading the attention of Ryan Atkins to go the length of the field, before Chase got involved, creating arguably the try of the afternoon.
The England international danced his way around several Wolves defenders before providing an outrageous ball for Youngquest, who scrambled in at the corner for his second.
The home side were now in full flow, and they reduced the gap to just 14 points when Owen weaved his way through the Warrington defensive line, stepping his opposite number Hodgson to go in under the sticks with Orr adding the extras.
The points kept on coming for the Tigers, this time courtesy of Lee Mitchell, the forward spinning in the tackle and crashing over to further narrow the gap.
Warrington held their nerve however, and Ratchford's late breakaway effort sealed a crucial victory for Smith's men.