Superb Tigers down Warriors
Posted: Friday 7th February 2020 - 10:00 PM
Castleford defeated Wigan Warriors 16-12 following a superb performance at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The boot of Danny Richardson proved the difference in the second round of the Betfred Super League as his two second half penalties gave the Tigers a vital cushion that proved enough despite a late try from Wigan’s Joe Burgess.
A well-deserved victory was made all the sweeter given the absence of several first team players for the Tigers with Adam Milner, George Griffin, Tyla Hepi and Greg Eden all added to an extensive injury list following last week’s win over Toronto, with young forward Lewis Peachey named on the bench and academy prop Sam Hall coming on as a second-half substitute for his first team debut.
After an early arm wrestle that saw both sides compete at a frenetic pace in the first quarter, Cas took the lead in the 18th minute after a penalty gave them a rare attacking set. Richardson went close after a strong run before the ball was worked to the right in a powerplay move on the last, Derrell Olpherts the man to touch down after good hands inside.
Richardson converted from the sideline to make it 6-0 but couldn’t repeat the feat 10 minutes before half-time when Cheyse Blair powered through two defenders on the right edge to grab the Tigers’ second try of the night.
Wigan hit back when Liam Byrne broke a tackle for a close range effort, converted by Zak Hardaker, but a Richardson penalty on the stroke of half-time saw Daryl Powell’s men enter the sheds with a 12-6 advantage after a short kick-off had seen Junior Moors regather the ball on his return to action from a nine-month lay-off with a broken hip.
With an inexperienced bench apart from Moors, the Tigers had been led by a big effort from their more experience forwards in the opening 40 minutes, complemented by the busy Jacques O’Neill when he entered the field, and the second half started began in much the same fashion with relentless intensity from both teams.
Cas had a couple of half chances before a great break and grubber from Bevan French sparked a run of three attacking sets for the Warriors that the Fords did well to survive, with their reward coming a few minutes later when two quickfire penalties were converted by Richardson to make it a two-score lead at 16-6 at the start of the final quarter.
Powell was then forced into a reshuffle with Jake Trueman leaving the field and Paul McShane switching to the halves as Wigan came on strong. A break from Liam Farrell look to be the visitors’ chance to pile on the pressure but excellent patience from Jordan Rankin in defending a two on one gave Richardson the opportunity to track back and force a crucial error with six minutes left on the clock.
Farrell was then penalised for obstruction as Wigan pushed again but excellent game management from Richardson in the latter stages as he repeatedly found the sideline with several low kicks allowed the Tigers to tick down the clock.
Burgess did grab a late try in the corner with three seconds remaining but Cas defended the play from the kick-off to hold on for a vital win.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 16-12 Wigan Warriors
Rankin, Olpherts, Blair, Shenton, Clare, Trueman, Richardson, Watts, McShane, Smith, Holmes, Millington, Massey
Moors, O’Neill, Peachey, Hall
Tries: Olpherts, Blair
Conversions: Richardson (1/1)
Penalty: Richardson (3/3)
French, Marshall, Hardaker, Bibby, Burgess, Smith, Hastings, Clubb, Leuluai, Partington, Isa, Farrell, O’Loughlin
Byrne, Havard, Shorrocks, Smithies
Tries: Byrne, Burgess
Conversions: Hardaker (2/2)
*Match report by Matt Holden
**Photography by Melanie Allatt Photography
***Golden Gamble number: 10544
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