Super League: Warrington Wolves see off Castleford Tigers
Last Updated: 15/08/14 11:25pm
Joel Monaghan: crossed for his 24th Super League try of the season
Warrington took full advantage of Challenge Cup finalists Castleford's much-changed team, running out 48-10 winners at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Tigers coach Daryl Powell rested six members of his likely Wembley squad and, although his makeshift line-up were far from disgraced, they could not match their opponents' superior finishing in the second half of the contest.
The Wolves needed to win by 29 points to leapfrog Castleford into fourth place and they reached their target courtesy of Joel Monaghan's 24th Super League try of the season seven minutes from the end.
Castleford actually dominated the opening quarter, forcing three goal-line drop-outs and repeated sets, but without being able to supply the final touches to their promising build-up play.
The Wolves' defence was up to the task and they struck twice on the counter-attack to open up a 12-0 lead.
Left centre Ryan Atkins got the opening try, taking advantage of a kind bounce after Ben Reynolds was deceived by a kick from Gareth O'Brien, who then supported a long-range break by Michael Monaghan to score the second.
Right centre Chris Bridge crashed through some poor defence to score a third Warrington try on 22 minutes and kicked his third conversion before hobbling off with a leg injury.
At 18-0, the visitors were in danger of being blown away but they stuck valiantly to their task and pulled a try back on 26 minutes when left winger James Clare took Jamie Ellis' long pass and produced a superb one-handed finish at the corner.
Clare is likely to make way for the return of Australian winger Justin Carney for the cup final but is doing his best to present Powell with a selection dilemma.
The Tigers almost scored again before half-time when second rower Frankie Mariano was put through a gap on halfway by Nathan Massey and held off the cover on a blazing sprint to the line, only to be held on his back in Rhys Evans' last-ditch tackle.
However, there was no stopping Oliver Holmes six minutes into the second half when he took Ellis' short pass to barge his way over despite the efforts of four defenders.
Liam Finn's conversion cut the deficit to eight points but Warrington made the game safe with two further tries in a five-minute spell.
Evans took Simon Grix's cut-out pass to cross at the corner for the first of his two tries and prop Anthony England charged onto Mick Higham's short pass to crash over by the posts.
Stefan Ratchford added both conversions in the absence of Bridge to make it 30-10 and then used an overlap to cross for his side's sixth try on 65 minutes.
As the visitors tired, Monaghan and Evans both went over in the last seven minutes as Warrington emphasised their superiority and Ratchford took his goal tally to five from as many attempts.
First Utility Super League
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Super League 2014, Round 24
Who has kicked the most goals this season? Which player is penalised the most? Find out here...
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