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There were very contrasting fortunes for the Tigers and the Warriors last time out. Despite being near the top of the table, Castleford suffered the heartbreak of a Golden Point loss to bottom side Leeds Rhinos while Wigan, at long last, found some form in demolishing the Catalans Dragons.

A win for the home side would keep them in touch with St Helens and the Warrington Wolves but the visitors  went into the game knowing that if other results went in their favour then a win could see them into fourth by the time the final hooter sounded at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

The Tigers were without one of their key playmakers as Paul McShane started a three match suspension for striking and ex-Tiger Zak Hardaker was likely to get a warm reception from the home fans as he returned for the first time. Wigan were without Sean O’Loughlin and Ben Flower through injury.

Castleford went close in the opening two minutes but determined early Wigan defence held them up on the line twice. A pinpoint Jarrod Sammut kick to the corner then secured great position for the visitors and Dom Manfredi almost managed to score a spectacular one handed try but was pushed into touch. Early indications were that it would be end to end stuff, but then Wigan got started.

Wigan broke the early deadlock on ten minutes when Joe Greenwood benefitted from a penalty as early in the tackle count he managed to ground the ball despite the attentions of three tacklers. Zak Hardaker was unable to add the conversion, much to the joy of the home support. 

Three minutes later Oliver Gildart doubled the lead with a break down the left  wing to score a twenty metre effort, wrongfooting the Tigers defence. Hardaker was again unable to kick the goal, a barage of abuse behind him as he lined up the kick.

From the kick-off George Williams was next over taking a neat inside pass after a Gildart break to go fifty metres to score by the left upright. Hardaker kicked the conversion for a 14-0 lead.

Gildart was once again the provider on twenty-one, this time to put Joe Burgess over for another left wing try, Tuoyo Egodo having a nightmare evening. Hardaker was accurate for the second time on the night, the Warriors 20-0 ahead.

Sammut was helped off the pitch on twenty-five after picking up a leg injury. As Wigan re-organised Oliver Holmes reversed over the Wigan line from ten metres and managed to ground the ball for Castleford’s first try of the night. Calum Turner couldn’t add the extra two.

Gildart walked straight over the top of Egodo and Adam Milner for his second of the night as the two defenders seemed to get in one anothers way, rather than make the tackle. Hardaker failed to add a straightforward conversion, some small mercy for the Tigers.

Just before the half time hooter Calum Turner grabbed the Tigers second taking a delightful Peter Mata’utia delayed pass to go ten metres and ground. He pulled his conversion right of the uprihghts, the home side going into the sheds trailing by 8-24.

Greenwood departed the field inside the first minute after the restart, a victim of friendly fire from the elbow of George Williams.

On firty-five Mitch Clark scored a close range try with a dive over the line from two metres as he took the ball at first receiver. Mata’utia kicked the conversion to get his side within ten points of their opponents.

The comeback was on the cards in forty-eight thanks to a Matt Cook try as he went between three Wigan defenders from ten metres after taking the first pass from the acting half back. Mata’utia added the goal to put the home side within four points.

On fifty-one Adam Milner went over from acting half back for another short range Tigers try. It was three tries in six minutes for the home side and once Mata’utia kicked the conversion, Castleford had edged into the lead after looking out of the game for long periods of the first half.

Wigan eased themselves back into the game over the next ten minutes before Joe Burgess took a Morgan Smithies pass to go down the left wing on sixty-four to go over in the corner for his second of the night. Flares were thrown onto the pitch from the Wigan end, the smoke dissipating as Hardaker missed yet another conversion.

Egodo went from early zero, to late hero, on seventy-four when he darted down the blind side from acting half-back and stretched for the line to ground on the line one-handed. Mata’utia kicked the conversion from the touchline for a four point lead.

As Wigan gave the ball air on the hooter it went to ground as Williams was unable to take the pass, Mata’utia diving on the loose ball for the seventh Tigers try of the night. The stand-in half back kicked the extras for an amazing 38-28 win.

For a side which looked dead and buried at half time, this was nothing short of a sensational fightback from the Castleford Tigers who stunned the Warriors with a second half blitz to take the points and pile the misery on Adrian Lam. After a half-time roasting from coach Powell the Tigers pulled themselves up by their boot straps and put in a determined second forty marshalled by Trueman and Mata’utia but powered home by a top drawer performance from the forwards.

This was the perfect response to last week’s disappointment at Headingley.

Tigers: Turner (T), Clare, Egodo (T), Shenton, Eden, Mata’utia (T, 5G), Trueman, Watts, Milner (T), Millington, Holmes (T), Sene-Lefao, Massey. Subs: Clark (T), Maher, O’Neill Cook (T).

Warriors: Hardaker (2G), Manfredi, Sarginson, Gildart (2T), Burgess (2T), Williams (T), Sammut, Bullock, Leuluai, Navarrete, Isa, Greenwood (T), Partington.  Subs: Byrne, Tautai, Smithies, Shorrocks.

Referee: Chris Kendall.

Half-Time: 8-24.

Full-Time: 38-28.           

Attendance: .

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 5th Apr 2019 9:47 PM | Views : 2649 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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