Pictures Eddie Whitham
WARRINGTON Wolves will be nervously looking over their shoulder in Super League after suffering a 27-18 defeat to Castleford.
Having been rooted in second place for months, the Wolves are now just two points ahead of third placed Hull after suffering consecutive defeats.
Mike Cooper was named in the line-up, making a mockery of the decision to recall Harvey Livett and Luis Johnson at the eleventh hour on Friday, as neither featured.
The Wolves did take the lead through a Declan Patton penalty, though wasted an opportunity when a poor pass from latest England call-up Blake Austin went to ground.
A minute later, Castleford pounced through James Clare, converted by Peter Mata’utia, who would then go on to kick three penalties to put the Tigers 12-2 to the good.
Jake Mamo got the Wolves’ first try to bring them back to 12-8 at half-time, and Tom Lineham’s converted score gave them a second half lead.
But three quick tries from Greg Minikin, Jake Trueman and Tuoyo Egodo turned the game in the Tigers’ favour.
Trueman’s was the pick, an 80 metre effort, that rendered Toby King’s late try mere consolation.
It was far from ideal preparation for Warrington’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Hull on Saturday, as they seek to reach Wembley for the second successive year.
Castleford: Rankin; Clare, Minikin, Mata’utia, Egodo; Trueman, McShane; Massey, Milner, Clarkson, Holmes, McMeeken, Sene-Lefao. Subs: Watts, Millington, Ashton, Smith.
Warrington: Mamo; Lineham, Goodwin, King, Charnley; Austin, Patton; Hill, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, J Clark. Subs: Tasi, Philbin, Walker, Davis.