Tigers Narrowly Lose To Wigan
Posted: Saturday 27th April 2019 - 7:43 PM
In a gritty, tight affair at the DW Stadium, Castleford Tigers lost out 6-4 to the Wigan Warriors on Saturday evening.
A pair of penalties from Peter Mata’utia were all the Tigers had to show from the game in terms of points, although the performance was markedly better than that fact suggests, against a resilient Wigan outfit.
The opening portion of the game offered little in terms of flash-points, with both sides trying to deal with the difficult Lancastrian conditions. However, the Tigers were notably on top of proceedings, commanding much of the territory in the opening fifteen minutes.
Pressure didn’t equal points though, as the Tigers’ handling let them down early on. Despite being the team on the back foot, it was Wigan who went closest to striking first. It looked as if Zak Hardaker had scored against his former team after a ricochet, but referee Chris Kendall sent the decision upstairs and the four points were chalked off for a knock-on.
Clearly, points were going to be at a premium this afternoon, with very little in the way of open space.
After the initial scare, the Tigers responded well via their middles, dominating the forward battle. The clinical edge in the final third was still missing though, so it made sense when Peter Mata’utia opted for the posts when Castleford were awarded a penalty after 25 minutes.
The full-back split the uprights, giving the Tigers a slender 2-0 lead.
As the half drew to a close, the visitors continued to be the team with the initiative, regularly threatening the Wigan line.
The Warriors’ defence was sturdy though, so Castleford came out of the period with just another penalty to show from their efforts.
It had been a low-scoring half, but one that the Tigers certainly had the better of.
With just four points separating the sides entering the second half, a tight 40 minutes was all but assured.
In the first ten, the Tigers picked up where they’d left things, hitting Wigan with waves of attack. However, on a rare occasion where they got on a roll following a Tuoyo Egodo error, Wigan managed to hit the front via Sam Powell.
Hardaker added the extras, giving the hosts a two-point lead with 25 minutes left on the clock.
From there, the contest was truly on a knife-edge, with both sides struggling to get through due to top defence all round.
It was clearly a case of next-try-winner, meaning the tension within the DW Stadium was palpable as the clock ticked down. Both sides had their chances, but the best fell to the Tigers with four minutes to play, following a Wigan knock-on in their own half.
However, Wigan held firm, securing the two competition points for the hosts.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 4-6 Wigan Warriors
Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Egodo, Eden, Trueman, Aston, Watts, McShane, Maher, McMeeken, Clarkson, Massey
Milner, Clark, Peachey, Smith
Penalties: Mata’utia (2/2)
Hardaker, Marshall, Hankinson, Gildart, Burgess, Williams, Shorrocks, Flower, Leuluai, Bullock, Isa, Greenwood, Partington
O’Loughlin, Powell, Tautai, Smithies
Conversions: Hardaker (1/1)
*Match report by Ross Williams
**Photography by Melanie Allatt