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Sunday 4th August 2013, 15:30 - Round:23
|Justin Carney, Weller Hauraki, Adam Milner, Kirk Dixon, Craig Huby,||T||Lee Briers, Garreth Carvell, Brad Dwyer, Richie Myler, Micky Higham 2, Joel Monaghan,|
Kirk Dixon 5,
Stefan Ratchford 6,
Attendance: 5,980 Official: R Hicks Venue: Wish Communications Stadium
Warrington Wolves survived a huge scare before maintaining their title bid by downing Castleford Tigers to record an eighth successive Super League win.
Following their shock Challenge Cup semi-final defeat against Hull FC, Warrington found themselves facing another loss after falling 24-6 down in the first half but showed their class by bouncing back to turn the game around after the interval.
Three tries in six minutes early in the second period put the Wolves in front and, although battling Castleford levelled at 30-30 with 15 minutes remaining, late scores by Mick Higham - his second of the game - and Joel Monaghan gave the Wolves victory.
Stefan Ratchford chipped in with six goals in a triumph that kept Warrington one point behind leaders Huddersfield Giants with four league games left.
Michael Channing, on loan from London Broncos, made his Castleford debut at centre in place of Richard Owen, while prop Ryan Boyle returned for the Tigers after a one-match suspension and forwards Keith Mason and Charlie Martin were recalled on the bench.
Oliver Holmes and Jonathan Walker were both missing with knee injuries.
Warrington were without injured trio Mike Cooper, Brett Hodgson and Michael Monaghan from the side that lost to Hull.
Richie Myler returned at scrum-half while Brad Dwyer and James Laithwaite came in on the bench.
Castleford's Adam Milner forced his way over from a scrum 10 metres out after just two minutes but referee Robert Hicks ruled out the effort for a scrum infringement and awarded Warrington a penalty.
The Wolves did well to survive further Tigers pressure after full-back Ratchford fumbled Jamie Ellis' high kick and Monaghan knocked on as he caught Weller Hauraki's kick.
Against the run of play, Warrington went ahead from their first meaningful attack when Lee Briers caught the home defence flat-footed by darting over from close range for a 13th-minute try that Ratchford converted.
The Tigers quickly turned the game on its head by scoring four tries in 11 minutes.
They levelled in the 20th minute with a superbly-worked try when slick handling by Hauraki, Grant Millington and Ellis put in Justin Carney at the corner.
Castleford then took the lead as Ratchford collected Ellis' high kick but lost the ball as he was tackled and Hauraki scooped it up to score.
Boyle's magnificent offload then created the opening for Jordan Tansey to send in Milner before the Wolves fell further behind when Rangi Chase fooled their defence to set up a touchdown for Kirk Dixon.
Dixon added his fourth conversion to put the Tigers 24-6 up.
Warrington saw little of the ball in the first half but got themselves back into game when substitute Garreth Carvell scored from close range and Ratchford converted to cut the gap to 12 points.
Chase was wide with a drop goal attempt on the stroke of half-time yet the Tigers were full value for their 12-point lead at the break after cutting Warrington's defence to ribbons during that stunning first-half scoring burst.
The Wolves looked far more determined in the second period and soon levelled the scores.
Substitute Dwyer plunged over from close range before Briers made the opening for half-back partner Myler to cross.
Warrington then regained their lead with their third try in six minutes, Higham shooting over from acting half and Ratchford added his fifth goal to put them 30-24 ahead.
Castleford squared matters again in the 65th minute when Craig Huby capitalised on Daryl Clark's grubber kick to grab a try that Dixon goaled.
But the Wolves struck a vital blow three minutes later as Myler put in Higham for his second try and sealed victory when Monaghan went in at the corner.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals