Castleford a tough place to go, says Ratchford

Warrington utility Stefan Ratchford is expecting fierce competition from Challenge Cup finalists Castleford Tigers when the Wolves visit the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Thursday night to battle for a place in the Super League play-off semi-finals.

Ratchford remembers Warrington’s last visit to Castleford on Easter Monday which resulted in a 40-6 defeat for the Wolves.

“We had a rough time during our last visit to The Jungle,” he said.

“It’s a difficult place to go. It’s a smaller pitch and their fans are very loud throughout the game which seems to give them a boost.

“Over the past three or four weeks their form has been a bit hit and miss but we won’t look too much into that.

“They have quality all over the park. Players like Michael Shenton and Justin Carney on the wing can have a real impact on the game. If their forwards get on a roll they can dominate the middle too.”

Ratchford has just extended his contract with the Wolves, keeping him at the club until 2018 to join other players who have committed to Warrington this season.

“It’s good to join others like Matty Russell and Chris Hill who have extended their contracts with the club,” said Ratchford.

“Quite a few of the younger lads have got contracts too which is great to see. Tony Smith is one for bringing them through and developing them into better players.

“It was an ambition of mine to play in the NRL after I left Salford but a big club like Warrington couldn’t be ignored. There were no formal offers on the table from Australian clubs and a few were interested in taking a look at me. I’m happy with the Wolves and that is why I’ve signed a new contract with them.

“The way Tony lets us play really suits me. We’re a team that likes to throw the ball around which would make some coaches nervous but nine times out of 10 it goes our way.”