FANS experienced a special flash light display at Halliwell Jones Stadium last night - but then the lights went out on leaders Castleford Tigers’ unbeaten start to the season.
Warrington urged supporters to take part in Europe’s first Human Video Board, a ‘revolutionary system for creating stunning smartphone animated light shows’ in stadiums and arenas.
They duly obliged to create an impressive spectacle in the build-up to kick-off but then it was the hosts - with former Huddersfield Giants winger Jake Mamo grabbing a brace - who followed it up on the pitch to inflict a first defeat on Daryl Powell’s side.
Granted, the visitors were without a raft of first-team regulars and they competed hard for long periods, not least their towering prop Liam Watts.
However, this morning they will look back and rue some early missed opportunities and, crucially, poor defensive lapses as Warrington moved with them joint at the top of the table.
Castleford were 16-4 down at the interval and already facing a sizeable challenge.
They had started impressively and played with poise, strength and discipline.
However, once their discipline waned just slightly, Warrington - especially with the quality of their bench - began to take control.
Steve Price was able to bring on not only Tonga forward Ben Murdoch-Masila and former England back-row Ben Westwood but ex-South Sydney star Jason Clark, too.
Joe Philbin isn’t a big name but he’s an increasingly big player in terms of performance.
With those forwards coming into the fray, Castleford were always going to struggle, especially having seen England loose forward Adam Milner fail his late fitness test.
That meant they were relatively light and inexperienced on the bench - Tuoyo Egodo has only made a handful of first-team appearances and teenage hooker Jacques O’Neill’s debut only came the previous week in the win over Hull KR.
Still, Watts, in particular, did the work of two players, the relentless front-row continually ploughing forward and he was well-supported by Junior Moors.
The visitors took the lead when Josh Charnley failed to claim Paul McShane’s chip and Greg Eden swept in inside eight minutes.
McShane should have gone over himself soon after having produced a surprise runaround with Watts on the last tackle but, unusually, the hooker spilled the return pass with the line begging.
Even after just 11 minutes, it seemed a costly miss.
Warrington, who had lost their first game in Perpignan on Saturday and had England second-row Ben Currie playing his first game in 11 months, hit back with their first attack of note.
After Nathan Massey conceded Castleford’s opening penalty of the evening, they worked downfield and James Clare was caught out.
There was no real danger as Declan Patton ebbed across field but the Warrington half-back spotted the Castleford winger creep in slightly and he fired out a pass for Mamo to score in the 21st minute.
Soon after, Massey was put on report - but not penalised - for a tackle on Bryson Goodwin where the Wolves centre was pushed back awkwardly on the floor.
The Australian tried playing on but eventually had to come off. It did not disrupt his colleagues.
Mamo - the exciting Australian unwanted after an injury-hit two years at Huddersfield - added his second after Stefan Ratchford, this time, found the pass to catch Clare cold again.
That said, the visitors were unlucky given Warrington had gained a repeat set when Blake Austin’s kick clearly just hit Massey’s rooted leg.
There was no excuses, however, for the hosts’ third effort; Mamo rose high to claim Austin’s latest crossfield kick but was given time to find Jack Hughes who then shrugged off a feeble attempt from Greg Minikin and beat another defender to stretch over.
Ratchford converted and, with Clare replaced at the break, added a penalty early in the second period.
When Castleford captain Michael Shenton lost the ball during one promising attack, Warrington made them pay, forcing a drop-out and then seeing Murdoch-Masila storm over from 10m with McShane hanging on behind.
Ratchford’s conversion made it 24-4 but Powell’s side do not lack spirit and they continued to plug away, delivering the best try of the evening just before he hour when Peter Mata’utia looped around Jake Trueman and found Minikin with a lovely cut-out pass.
Jordan Rankin converted and his side continued to press but, despite winning here against all odds last year, there was no repeat trick.
Warrington Wolves: Ratchford; Mamo, Goodwin, King, Charnley; Austin, Patton; Hill, D Clark, Cooper, Currie, Hughes, Tasi. Substitutes: Murdoch-Masila, Westwood, Philbin, J Clark.
Castleford Tigers: Mata’utia; Clare, Minikin, Shenton, Eden; Trueman, Rankin; Watts, McShane, Moors, Sene-Lefao, Clarkson, Massey. Substitutes: Foster, Cook, Egodo, O’Neill.
Referee: Chris Kendall (Huddersfield)