Everyone connected with Warrington Wolves breathed a huge sigh of relief last week as they finally returned to winning ways, and they will fancy their chances of making it two from two when they host Castleford Tigers at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Wolves interim head coach Gary Chambers helped his side beat Hull FC 18-4 on their travels, and that could do wonders for his team in the final few weeks of the season.
Visitors Castleford have lost six of their last seven, and they continue to look over their shoulder, with rivals Wakefield Trinity breathing down their necks, with only two points separating the two teams.
Chambers has only made one alteration to the squad that beat the Black and Whites last week, with Wales international forward Gil Dudson replacing back Greg Minikin. Warrington could be without prop Joe Bullock for the rest of the season if they fail to make the playoffs, as he has been sidelined for up to a month with an ankle injury.
Ward will be without Will Tate through injury, while both Liam Horne and Liam Watts are suspended for the clash. Jacob Hookem, Muizz Mustapha and Jason Qareqare are the three who earn their place in the travelling party.
Warrington Wolves -16 handicap @ 11/10
Warrington’s fans have been through some difficult times already this season, and it was their early season form that has helped them remain in the hunt for a top-six spot.
The Wire won their first eight matches in Super League to set the standard, but their form since June has seen them fall down the table.
After eight straight defeats in all competitions, they have finally returned to winning ways, and that should give them so much belief as they welcome one of the worst teams in the league to their home patch.
Castleford need all the help they can get to avoid relegation, but without Horne and Watts, they may struggle for power through the middle of the park, which should help Warrington secure a comfortable win.
Matty Ashton to score anytime @ 4/5
Only five players have scored more tries in Super League than Warrington’s Ashton, and he will be able to add to his tally of 17 on Friday night.
Ashton has scored in Warrington’s last two matches for the Wire, while he scored a brace in the previous clash against Castleford in June.
Castleford have to take chances, considering their poor league position, and Ashton has the speed and class to convert any finishing opportunities.