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Wolves go top of Super League thanks to late Ashton try

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MATTY Ashton’s late try sent Warrington Wolves top of the Super League table with a 12-10 win over Castleford Tigers.

The speedster backed up a fine break by Ben Currie and kept his balance to score under the posts in the 79th minute, presenting Stefan Ratchford with the easiest of conversions to win the match.

Despite missing nine first-teamers, including Daryl Clark and Gareth Widdop, Steve Price’s side secured a seventh successive win.

They were second best for long periods as Castleford dominated possession and territory at times, but it was yet another gutsy display by the Wolves, who started this run with a 9-8 home win over Castleford back in March.

A defeat would maybe have been cruel too, after they were on the wrong side of a couple of controversial video referee decisions in the second half.

Former Wire full-back Gareth O’Brien opened the scoring on 19 minutes, getting on the end of a Danny Richardson kick, with the former St Helens half-back adding the conversion for 6-0.

The Wolves only got on the board right at the end of the first half, Josh Charnley patting back a Blake Austin kick for Anthony Gelling to touch down right on half time.

After Luis Johnson lost the ball over the try line, Warrington were reduced to 12 men on 54 minutes when Jake Mamo took out Derrell Olpherts on the wing after the Castleford winger had kicked through.

It took barely a minute for that numerical advantage to count, Olpherts scoring in the corner for 10-6, though there was certainly doubt as to whether he grounded it cleanly – replays hinted that there may well have been separation between hand and ball, but as it had been sent up as a try, the try was awarded.

Then 10 minutes later, at the other end, Austin crashed over under pressure from two defenders and then a third, Adam Milner, appeared to make contact with his head which left him down and groggy.

After a lengthy analysis by the video referee, no try was given and perhaps surprisingly, no punishment for Milner’s actions.

It looked like Castleford were going to close out for the win when from nowhere, a disguised pass by Dec Patton sent Currie racing through the line and as defenders closed in, he released Ashton, who showed Peter Mata’utia a clean pair of heels to win it for the Wire.

Warrington: Ashton, Charnley, Gelling, Mamo, Lineham, Austin, Ratchford, Latu, Walker, Cooper, Currie, King, Murdoch-Masila. Subs: Patton, Johnson, Robson, Doro.

Castleford: O’Brien, Eden, Shenton, Foster, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Griffin, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey. Subs: Millington, Milner, Moors, O’Neill.

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Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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