Captain fantastic Michael Shenton raced in for a hat-trick of tries as Castleford Tigers left grand finalists Warrington Wolves stunned with an outstanding display and a 40-6 win at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
After squandering a big lead in their previous home game against St Helens there was no let up this time as Daryl Powell’s men stormed back into second place in the First Utility Super League.
Warrington were expected to provide a stiff test, particularly in the Tigers’ second game of the Easter holiday, but they were kept to just one try and that had an element of luck about it while Cas ran in seven tries in a display that showed they could well be genuine top four contenders now.
Castleford came under early pressure in the first half, but defended well with recalled full-back Jordan Tansey making a superb try-saving tackle on Kevin Penny in the third minute to ensure the Wolves did not go ahead.
It was a little against the run of play when Cas took the lead on 12 minutes as Michael Shenton did well to stand up in a tackle and his pass allowed James Clare to squeeze in at the corner for a try converted by Marc Sneyd.
Adam Milner then had a “try” mysteriously disallowed as he attempted to burrow over from acting half next to the line.
Back came Warrington and it was their turn to score against the run of play as Michael Monaghan charged down Sneyd’s attempted clearance kick and the ball bounced kindly for him to collect and go over for a try goaled by Stefan Ratchford.
From this point it was all Cas in the opening half, however, as head coach Daryl Powell put on his big guns from the bench - Craig Huby, Grant Millington, Daryl Clark and Weller Hauraki.
Nathan Massey was inches away from a score when losing the ball near the line after a strong charge, but there was no stopping skipper Shenton on 35 minutes when he dived on the ball from Sneyd’s perfectly judged grubber kick.
Sneyd’s conversion made it 12-6 and he was on target again with another kick just before half-time after Shenton scored his second try, finishing off a great move started by breaks from Sneyd and Frankie Mariano.
The Tigers went off to a great ovation again, but the question this time was could they complete the job in the second half as they had failed to do in their previous home game against St Helens.
The answer was an emphatic yes as Cas continued where they left off, extending their lead when Shenton sent Clare over again.
Within four minutes they scored again with Jamie Ellis taking a return pass from Weller Hauraki to charge over for a try goaled by Sneyd to make it 28-6.
Cas stayed on top and Tansey and Ashley Gibson combined to give Richard Owen the chance to squeeze over in the right corner. Sneyd put the icing on the cake with a touchline conversion and it was effectively game over with 20 minutes left.
Warrington huffed and puffed, but never threatened to get back in the game, Chris Hill knocking on over the line in the closest they came to a second try.
It was the Tigers who had the last word with the unstoppable Shenton again charging over the line from a fine Sneyd pass. Sneyd made it six goals from seven shots to complete a great day for Castleford.
Scorers - Castleford: Tries Clare 2, Shenton 3, Ellis, Owen; goals Sneyd 6. Warrington: Tries M Monaghan; goals Ratchford.
Castleford: Tansey; Owen, Gibson, Shenton, Clare; Sneyd, Ellis; Lynch, Milner, Wheeldon, Mariano, Webster, Massey. Subs: Huby, Millington, Hauraki, Clark.
Warrington: Russell; J Monaghan, R Evans, Atkins, Penny; O’Brien, Ratchford; Hill, M Monaghan, Asotasi, Waterhouse, Laithwaite, Harrison. Subs: Higham, Currie, England, B Evans.
Referee: Richard Silverwood.