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P.J. Murray 12th May 2011 - 13:09

Warrington set to savage the Tigers

Top of the table Warrington host an ever improving Castleford side at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday night.

The Wolves' come into this game on the back of some blistering performances, they hit Keighley for 80 points last week making it the fourth time in five games that Warrington have posted 50 plus points in a game.

Cas also managed an easy win in the Challenge Cup, beating Rochdale 72-10, but this was their first win in four games as they slipped to fifth on the back of three defeats in the league. Despite being one of the most improved sides in this year's Super League they come into the game with some injuries and with such a small squad it could be a real blow.

The home side are 14 point favourites on the handicap market at 10/11, reflecting their recent dominance. This could be construed as value when you look at the match betting and see that Warrington are 1/8 while Castleford are 9/2 for the win. There is some value to be had in our alternative handicap markets. You can back the Wolves to start minus 22 points at 9/4, while Castleford plus the points are short at 1/3.

A big talking point of this clash will be the return on Richie Mathers to the Halliwell Jones Stadium for the first time since he left last autumn. The former NRL player made over 40 appearances for Warrington scoring 13 tries for the Wolves. His record so far at Castleford has seen him make 12 appearances, scoring three tries so far. He will be a pivotal member if the Tigers are going to overcome the Wolves.

Joel Monaghan has scored 11 tires for Warrington this season, all coming in only 12 appearances for his team. The outside back has had a good return so far this season and will be looking to keep his record up on Friday night.

The Monaghan brothers could be in for a double celebration if Warrington win as Michael has been called up to join Joel for the 22-man Exiles squad to face England. The hooker has only scored one try this season but with a place in the Exiles starting 15 he will be looking to impress.

Of course the Wolves will want to get off to a good start and in their last two games they have been well ahead at the break, a double result of Warrington/Warrington at 4/11 does seem to be short but the home side are looking strong.

If you were to bet on the winning margin in this game my advice would be to go high with Warrington. For the Wolves to win by 21-25 points you can back that at 6/1 or for a total rout of 51-55 points you can get 50/1.

What Castleford may lack in try scoring ability they make up for in defence and their points allowed tally is in the top five lowest of the league.

At 2/1 Castleford could be worth a shot to get the last scoring points, given that teams who are dominating tend to take their foot off the pedal slightly and allow their opposition a consolation score.

For me this has a Warrington win written all over it, but the only question is, by how much? I think the alternative handicap of -22 at 9/4 is well worth a punt, but I would also be backing the returning Richie Mathers to score a try at anytime during the 80 minutes.


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