Tigers stay alive in Super League play-offs as wounded Wolves bow out

By Sports Desk September 19, 2019

Castleford Tigers kept their Grand Final hopes alive and ended Warrington Wolves' season in the process with a 14-12 triumph at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Thursday.

The opening game of the Super League play-offs did not lack for drama, with the Wolves' hopes of success in the elimination final hampered by a first-half injury to Blake Austin.

Austin – one of five players on the shortlist for the 2019 Steve Prescott Man of Steel award – did not feature after the break due to a right knee problem, the half-back forced to watch on as this year's Challenge Cup winners came up short.

Castleford never trailed in a contest high on effort but lacking in quality, Adam Milner getting on the end of a grubber kick to score a try that Peter Mata'utia converted.

Warrington drew level quickly after the break when Jake Mamo – on as Austin's replacement – forced his way over out wide, Stefan Ratchford adding the extras having failed to land a first-half penalty.

However, the Tigers roared back with a try at the other end, Jordan Rankin the man to score it on his team's right flank. Mata'utia was on target with the kick and also slotted over a penalty, giving his team an eight-point advantage.

They needed the cushion, though, as Rankin missed Daryl Clark's kick to let in Chris Hill for a converted try that cut the gap to two.

But, like the Wolves' last-gasp bid to remain in contention for a trip to Old Trafford, Ratchford's ambitious long-range penalty attempt in the closing minutes came up short.

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