Upbeat Warrington Wolves coach Steve Price looked ahead to an elimination play-off at home to Hull KR on Friday and said: “The fun starts here.”
The 44-year-old is to return to Australia to become assistant to new coach Craig Fitzgibbon at Cronulla Sharks after four seasons with the Wolves.
But first Price is desperate to hunt down the club’s first title since 1955, and believes the 40-24 win at Castleford, whose coach Daryl Powell will succeed him at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, shows that his side is in good shape.
Castleford needed victory to clinch a play-off place, but Warrington, for whom fullback Matty Ashton scored a hat-trick and centre Jake Mamo a double, were 32-0 up early in the second half, and fought off a subsequent comeback by the home side.
“We’ll take a lot of belief out of the first 40 minutes (it was 26-0 at half-time). It was the best we’ve played all season. We’re in a good place,” said Price.
“We took the emotion out of the game nice and early. We played hard and we played fast with a good style, while defensively we were really hard-nosed and kept them out a number of times on the line.
“We needed to change the momentum after Castleford’s period being on top and the boys did that.”
With winger Josh Charnley yellow carded for an illegal challenge on Jordan Turner and Mike Cooper sent off for a shoulder to the head of fellow prop Liam Watts, Price is playing the waiting game over possible suspensions,
But he added: “The red card was really tough. I’m confident he will not have to answer to that.
“Liam Watts had a high shot on Matty Ashton under the posts when we took two points and it was more round the head anyway.”
Warrington will be without forward Matt Davis for the play-offs due to a torn bicep.
The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.