Warrington 24-10 Castleford: Wolves inflict Tigers' first loss of the season
Last Updated: 08/03/19 7:27am
Winger Jake Mamo scored two tries on his first start for Warrington to condemn Castleford to their first defeat of the Betfred Super League season.
Mamo, released by Huddersfield at the end of last season despite scoring 17 tries in 23 appearances, touched down twice in seven minutes on his home debut and also set up a try for Jack Hughes as the Wolves triumphed 24-10.
Warrington, who handed a surprise comeback to England forward Ben Currie following an 11-month injury lay-off, fell just short of the 15-point target they needed to go top but coach Steve Price will be delighted with the way they responded to their defeat by Catalans Dragons.
The home side started slowly but were boosted by impressive performances off the bench by powerful forwards Ben Westwood, Ben Murdoch-Masila and Joe Philbin.
Castleford, whose defeat leaves St Helens with the only 100 per cent record, were without eight members of their senior squad yet they made a bright and breezy start.
They took the lead with a try from winger Greg Eden after skipper Michael Shenton had worked the ball back from Paul McShane's kick to the corner.
Jordan Rankin was wide with the conversion attempt but the Tigers ought to have extended their lead when McShane worked a run-around with prop Liam Watts only to drop the ball with the line beckoning.
From being out of sorts in the opening quarter, Warrington suddenly clicked into gear and Mamo brought the scores level when he accepted Dec Patton's cut-out pass to score his first try.
Price was forced to reshuffle his side when centre Bryson Goodwin was hurt in a tackle that was placed on report by referee Chris Kendall but second rower Hughes proved to be a useful makeshift three-quarter.
He was perfectly placed to witness Mamo cross for his second try, this time from Stefan Ratchford's pinpoint pass, and the full-back kicked the conversion to bring up the 1,000th point of his career.
The momentum was all with the Wolves, and Mamo turned try provider five minutes before half-time when he collected Blake Austin's high kick and kept the ball alive for Hughes to fend off a trio of defenders to grab his side's third try.
Ratchford kicked his second conversion to make it 16-4 and added a penalty early in the second half to put his side three scores in front.
There was no way back for the visitors when Murdoch-Masila proved unstoppable from 10 metres out after taking Austin's sharp pass, and Ratchford's fourth goal made it 24-4.
Castleford refused to buckle, however, and they engineered a crisp passing move for Greg Minikin to score their second try and Rankin kicked his first goal.