Pictures Eddie Whitham
WARRINGTON Wolves slumped to a disappointing 21-12 defeat to Castleford in their opening match of the 2021 Super League season.
The Wolves, without superstar signing Greg Inglis, were second best for most of the game at Headingley.
A mistake by Josh Charnley gifted the opening try for Castleford after five minutes, and set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.
The former Wigan winger failed to knock the ball dead, enabling Tigers forward Oliver Holmes to scramble over him and touch down just inside the dead ball line.
Warrington did respond through Toby King, who rose above Niall Evalds for a kick to get the Wolves on the board, but they spent much of the rest of the first half in their own half of the pitch.
Charnley got away with an almost identical mistake, with Holmes this time just unable to get to the ball before it went dead, while at the other end, the closest Warrington came was when Daryl Clark was held up over the line.
Evalds stepped past Connor Wrench, preferred at centre instead of Jake Mamo, for a second try and on the stroke of half-time, Castleford created an overlap down the same side for Jordan Turner to mark his debut with a try.
Even losing former Wire half-back Gareth O’Brien through concussion failed to knock Castleford off their stride as they led 14-4 at the break.
Daryl Clark got Warrington back in the contest on 51 minutes, but Turner’s second put the game beyond them and Paul McShane’s drop goal rubbed further salt in the wounds prior to Blake Austin’s late consolation.
After the match Head Coach Steve Price, who has already announced his departure from the club at the end of the season, described it as a “disappointing start to the season” saying some of the play was “soft” with some poor discipline.
Castleford: Evalds, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Turner, O’Brien, Trueman, Massey, McShane, Millington, Griffin, Blair, Holmes. Subs: Watts, Milner, O’Neill, Smith.
Warrington: Ratchford, Charnley, King, Wrench, Lineham, Austin, Widdop, Hill, Walker, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Philbin. Subs: J Clark, D Clark, Mulhern, Ashton.