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Super League Saturday - Review
Castleford Tigers consolidated their position inside the top six of Tetley's Rugby Super League with a 32-16 defeat of Warrington Wolves. The Tigers moved three points clear of the seventh placed Wolves with another solid performance to affirm their Play-Off ambitions and move above St Helens into fifth for at least 48 hours.
Warrington had the better of the opening exchanges, with Lee Penny and Nathan Wood combining early on before Ian Sibbit was just unable to reach Mike Wainwright's kick at the corner.
Wood had to pull off a fine cover tackle on Tigers full back Tom Saxton after Danny Orr's break, and the hosts recovered from the loss of influential back rower Sid Domic to take the lead on 16 minutes.
In fact, it was his replacement, Darren Burns, who grabbed the opening try, with Lee Briers running the ball on the last tackle and producing an excellent cut-out pass to allow the former Brisbane man to dummy his way over out wide.
Castleford hit back on the quarter mark, with a high tackle on Waine Pryce giving them the field position for Ryan Hudson to dart out of dummy half and touch down, despite Wainwright's tackle.
The Tigers have switched Hudson and Wayne Bartrim between hooker and loose forward in recent weeks to good effect, and it was the latter who added the conversion to open up a 6-4 lead.
Dean Sampson had come out of retirement to help the Tigers in their front row injury crisis, and his introduction on 25 minutes sparked new life into the visitors.
And the 35-year-old marked his return with a score inside four minutes of his arrival, Hudson close range grubber ricocheting into his path and giving him a simple score, Bartrim again goaling.
They moved further in front on 36 minutes, when Danny Orr's pass was knocked out of Mitch Healey's hands before the Castleford skipper collected, looped a ball over the top to allow Damian Gibson to put Pryce over.
Another goal gave them a healthy 18-4 lead, but Warrington hit back in the final minute of the half to get right back into the game.
Saxton saw Wood's kick through bounce awkwardly past him and Briers nipped in to hack on and touch down over the line, his goal cutting the interval deficit to just eight points.
Bartrim kicked a penalty after Wainwright and Fozzard caught Smith high, and his goal to a 55th minute try to Saxton, who took Andy Johnson's offload and strolled over with ease from five yards, gave them a commanding 26-10 cushion.
However, they could not rest on that for long, another looping Briers pass allowing Rob Smyth to cut inside Rogers just before the hour mark.
Briers' 40-20 meant that Warrington kept the momentum, but Brent Grose twice knocked on in promising positions to see the chance to further pull back the lead go begging.
Orr was unable to find space to slot over a drop goal as Castleford looked to consolidate their lead, while Andy Lynch could not collect the ball as he looked to charge under the posts.
But the win was sealed with five minutes remaining, Smith sending Andy Johnson through a gap and Hudson supporting to cross for his second try of a thoroughly satisfactory evening, Orr kicking the final conversion.