Tigers downed by Warriors
Posted: Thursday 12th September 2019 - 9:40 PM
Castleford missed out on the chance to secure their place in the play-offs as they lost out 26-8 at Wigan.
As was the case against St Helens a fortnight ago, the Tigers enjoyed large spells in the ascendancy on their travels across the Pennines on Thursday evening but couldn’t find the cutting edge with ball in hand to defeat the defending champions, who secured second place on the Betfred Super League table with an efficient home win.
Daryl Powell’s men had earlier travelled to the DW Stadium knowing an eighth victory in 10 league games would secure a place in next week’s play-offs but they were never at the best against an in-form Warriors who were boosted by the return of experienced duo Sean O’Loughlin and Ben Flower.
Cas, who made a change themselves with Chris Clarkson returning to the bench in place of the ill Adam Milner, will now be reliant on Saints defeating Hull FC tomorrow night if they are to secure a place in the top-five.
It could have been much better for the Fords who had the better field position for much of the first half but were hampered by some erratic play in the final third. Jamie Ellis did open the scoring with a penalty in the 10th minute before missed two more attempts from the tee in the opening 40, whilst Wigan edged themselves in front at the break courtesy of George Williams’ try.
In the end, the contest was effectively decided in slippery conditions by two tries in quick succession to start the second half for the home side. Both began with breaks from deep from the Wigan outside backs with Zak Hardaker the first to score before Joe Greenwood followed him over on the following set to put the defending champions 12 points to the good.
A response was needed and Cas almost found it as Trueman put Cheyse Blair into space on left flank but he couldn’t find winger Greg Minikin with the attempted offload as the opportunity once again slipped away, as did another spell of attacking possession deep inside the Wigan half.
True to the script, the Warriors took their chances at the other end when Oliver Gildart slipped a tackle from close range to cross out wide on the left before Morgan Smithies crossed after Jesse Sene-Lefao had been sent off for the Tigers.
Blair did at least ensure Cas got a late consolation after punishing Hardaker’s error on the final play of the game but Cas will now have to await the result of tomorrow night’s fixtures with a trip to either Salford or Warrington on the horizon next Thursday should Hull fail to overcome St Helens.
Full Time: Wigan Warriors 26-8 Castleford Tigers
Hardaker, French, Sarginson, Gildart, Burgess, Williams, Leuluai, Clubb, Powell, Partington, Isa, Greenwood, Smithies
Byrne, Navarette, Flower, O’Loughlin
Tries: Williams, Hardaker, Greenwood, Gildart, Smithies
Conversions: Hardaker (2/5)
Penalties: Hardaker (1/1)
Rankin, Clare, Mata’utia, Blair, Minikin, Trueman, Ellis, Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey
Holmes, Cook, Clarkson, Smith
Conversions: Ellis (1/1)
Penalties: Ellis (1/3)
Sent Off: Sene-Lefao
*Match report by Matt Holden
**Photography by Melanie Allatt Photography
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