Tigers suffer Wigan defeat
Posted: Tuesday 31st August 2021 - 10:01 AM
Castleford Tigers’ winning streak came to an end at the hands of Wigan Warriors at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle on bank holiday Monday.
Tigers captain Michael Shenton was selected to start after recovering from a fractured cheekbone which he sustained in the fixture against Huddersfield Giants at the start of August. Adam Milner stepped in for the injured Paul McShane at hooker, along with Grant Millington and Liam Watts who replaced George Griffin and Daniel Smith at prop. Jesse Sene-Lefao also came back into the 13 in place of Cheyse Blair in the second row.
The Fords got the battle underway, and it was the Warriors who threatened the line first. After Gareth O’Brien’s high boot was caught within the in-goal area by Zak Hardaker which allowed Wigan to gain ground. Jackson Hastings kicked out wide on the final tackle 15 metres out, however, the covering Castleford defence coped well.
On the back of four wins on the spin, the Tigers were full of confidence and were flowing in attack. Danny Richardson, who has hit a real purple patch of form recently, chipped dangerously towards the goal line on a couple of occasions but they were dealt with by former Cas man Hardaker.
After another Richardson grubber, which was intercepted by Hastings, the Warriors were awarded a penalty for offside. A booming kick into the Fords’ 20 put the hosts under pressure and Wigan, who didn’t score a point in their last fixture, were clinical as they took the lead. Hastings was the man to pick up and scoot over before Harry Smith slotted his conversion to give his side a six-point lead.
Wigan’s score looked to have given them some confidence as they streamed forwards again. Liam Farrell cut inside and almost skidded over, before second rower John Bateman was held up on the line after his pick and go.
With 20 minutes gone Cas pushed hard on the left edge but their play just wasn’t clicking. Niall Evalds opened up the space and passed wide to Jordan Turner, but the left winger found the ball too hot to handle.
The Tigers were really forcing the issue to close the scores as a huge charging run from Nathan Massey got his team around 20 metres from the line. Richardson launched another swirling kick into the air, although Sam Halsall caught well under pressure from Shenton.
A six again call given in favour of the Tigers five metres out presented them with a fantastic attacking platform. Unfortunately for the hosts, they couldn’t make the most of it as O’Brien’s nudge forwards was captured by Smith.
Cas were not able to capitalise again moments later after a massive hit from Oliver Holmes gave possession back to the hosts and this time it was Peter Mata’utia’s kick and chase that was quelled.
Another knock on from the Warriors in a sloppy period of play gave the ball to the Tigers on halfway with five minutes to go. Suaia Matagi got within inches of the try line with a bulldozing run, but Daryl Powell’s men were denied again as another O’Brien dink was scuppered.
A couple of flashes of Olpherts trickery near the line were stopped by the Warriors before the visitors were awarded a penalty after a high shot from Jesse Sene-Lefao which was enough to get him sent to the sin bin. Wigan elected to go for the posts with just a handful of seconds left on the clock, however, Smith’s effort from around halfway dropped short for the scores to read 0-6 at the break.
The second half began with a sin bin for the Warriors as Liam Byrne was shown a yellow for a high tackle on Massey.
Castleford were thankful for some last ditch defending from Olpherts three minutes into the second 40. Smith’s chip in behind on the last caused havoc as first it was missed by Farrell before almost skidding to Oliver Gildart, but the Cas wing got back at the vital moment.
It was an end to end beginning of the second period as Castleford found themselves within striking distance of the line. An Evalds poke through forced Hardaker into patting the ball out of play for a drop out but the Fords couldn’t make the most of it as Evalds unfortunately missed handled.
Olpherts made amends for conceding a penalty 20 metres out by stretching to boot the ball out of play after Smith’s chip through, but Cas were penalised again moments later. Smith called for the kicking tee once again and wasn’t accurate with his penalty as the stand-off sliced wide from the right.
With 20 minutes remaining Castleford were trying to force their way back into it but their accuracy wasn’t up to their usual standards, and they were made to pay for it after Turner’s loose pass was pounced on by Marshall who then sprinted 60 metres for a walk in. Smith made no mistake in front of the posts to extend Wigan’s advantage to 12 points.
Another kicking opportunity was awarded to Smith as Cas were penalised, but the Warriors’ #20 couldn’t find the target again as he hooked wide from 40 metres.
Wigan did then extend their lead around five minutes later after Alex Foster was adjudged to have put in a high tackle on Hastings. The Warriors then took full advantage as they brought the play out to the left via a ripped pass out wide from Smith to Gildart, who powered over to score. Hastings then took up the kicking duties but the scrum-half didn’t fare any better as he hooked wide.
In the final seconds of the contest Wigan got their fourth and final try of the night. A quick pass into the hands of Brad Singleton allowed the prop to charge over from 10 yards out. Hastings added the two points for the final scores to read 0-22 as the Tigers fell to defeat for the first time in four matches.
Full-time: Castleford Tigers 0 – 22 Wigan Warriors
Castleford: Evalds, Olpherts, Mata’utia, Shenton, Turner, O’Brien, Richardson, Watts, Milner, Millington, Holmes, Sene-Lefao, Massey
Interchanges: Griffin, Foster, Eden, Matagi
Sin bin: Sene-Lefao
Wigan: Hardaker, Halsall, Bibby, Gildart, Marshall, Smith, Hastings, Singleton, Shorrocks, Partington, Farrell, Bateman, Smithies
Interchanges: Bullock, Byrne, O’Neill, Pearce-Paul
Tries: Hastings, Marshall, Gildart, Singleton
Goals: Smith (2/5), Hastings (1/2)
Sin bin: Byrne
Golden Gamble number: 17184
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