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Posted: Saturday 4th June 2022

Cas suffer home Wigan defeat

Our match report as the Tigers suffer defeat to Wigan at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle.

A second half comeback from Wigan Warriors saw Castleford Tigers’ winning home run come to an end on Saturday afternoon.

Lee Radford would have been pleased to have both Greg Eden and Bureta Faraimo back available for selection from the start after recovering from injury. There were landmarks for a couple of Cas players with Jake Trueman making his 100th Tigers appearance and his half-back partner Gareth O’Brien ran out for the 150th time in his Super League career.

Wigan got the contest underway, and the visitors created the first half-chance of the opening 40 with just a couple of minutes gone. Powerful prop Liam Byrne pumped his legs to break through the Cas line and found himself in space with ten metres to go. Former Warrior Ryan Hampshire got back in the nick of time for the Tigers to tackle Byrne and force a knock on.

With five minutes of the game gone it was Cas’ turn to get into opposition territory. A Gareth O’Brien high boot caused confusion in the Warriors’ defence with the ball coming off Bevan French to set the tackle count back to zero. The Fords then took full advantage as they shifted the ball quickly into the hands of Trueman, who marked his 100th Tigers appearance with a perfectly floated assist out wide to the returning Eden. O’Brien lined up his kick and made no mistake from the left-hand side to make it 6-0.

The Cherry and Whites looked to respond quickly and a well-placed kick to claim a 40/20 offered them a chance to do just that. Wigan looked to Challenge Cup hero Liam Marshall as they fired a pass to the wing, however, the #5 found the ball too hot to handle.

As the fixture entered the halfway stage of the first half, the hosts were awarded a penalty 20 metres away from the Wigan line for a high shot on Trueman. O’Brien elected to go for the posts and the two points, although the scrum-half sliced his effort narrowly wide for the Tigers’ advantage to remain at six.

Moments later another spiraling O’Brien high boot had the Warriors back line worried again as George Lawler raced after his own touch but the second rower couldn’t catch up with the ball as it bounced out of play.

With 25 minutes of the first half remaining, it was a piece of Kenny Edwards magic that saw the Fords claim their second score of the day. A sublime step from the #11 and a couple of strong fends to hold off the Wigan challenges allowed him to make it to the line and set Wheldon Road alight. O’Brien was successful from the tee to give Cas a 12-0 lead.

After it looked like Marshall had gone over on the left-hand side before being pulled back for a forward pass in the play, the Fords found themselves down to 12 after referee James Child decided to hand Mahe Fonua a yellow card after an altercation with Liam Farrell.

With The Jungle crowd baffled the visitors capitalised on having an extra man. Full-back French delivered the pass to Marshall for the wing to run in. Harry Smith was on kicking duties for Wigan, however, the half-back couldn’t convert.

The Fords defended admirably with a man down and threatened the Wigan try line on a couple of occasions during the final moments of the first half, but the scores remained at 12-4 as the players went into the sheds.

Wigan landed the first blow of the second half after some off the cuff rugby on the final tackle looked to have fizzled out on the left-hand side but Marshall managed to cut inside and produce a grubber kick which bounced up into the hands of French for the #1 to dot down. Smith was successful with his kick on this occasion to close the gap to two.

The Warriors then made it back-to-back tries within nine minutes of the second half as the visitors played the ball wide right. Farrell was the man to provide the offload which looked level at best to Abbas Miski for the right winger to stroll in unopposed and put his side into the lead for the first time. Smith did well to convert from out wide.

Wigan were in the ascendancy as they notched their third of the half as Marshall secured his brace after a well-timed pass from French. Smith couldn’t connect with his kick correctly for the scores to read 12-20.

With 57 minutes of the fixture gone the Tigers were scrapping to get a foothold back in the tie. A penalty for a high tackle provided them a solid attacking base, although Wigan kept them at bay as Hampshire’s kick was too long on the last tackle.

The wind was in the sails of the visitors, and they weren’t about to give up their stronghold on the game and they notched their fifth try of the afternoon to push them even further ahead. The ball was fired into Jake Bibby and the centre held off the challenge of Derrell Olpherts to smuggle over. Smith added the extras for the scoreboard to tick over to 12-26.

Cas rallied with ten minutes to go as an effort from Bureta Faraimo down the right saw him stopped a couple of metres shorts before offloading to Trueman who was denied near the line. The Fords kept up the pressure by forcing a goal line drop out but could not make the most of it.

As the game drifted towards the final hooter the away side added the final try of the day as some quick feet from Jai Field who then found a short pass to Farrell who scooted over. Smith made the conversion for the Fords to end their home winning streak at the hands of Wigan.

 

Full-time: Castleford Tigers 12–32 Wigan Warriors

 

Castleford: Hampshire, Olpherts, Faraimo, Fonua, Eden, O’Brien, Trueman, Griffin, McShane, Watts, Lawler, Edwards, Westerman

Interchanges: Milner, Massey, Smith, Matagi

Tries: Eden, Edwards

Goals: O’Brien (2/3)

Sin bin: Fonua

 

Wigan: French, Miski, Thornley, Bibby, Marshall, Field, Smith, Singleton, Powell, Byrne, Farrell, Isa, Ellis

Interchanges: Mago, Partington, Havard, Shorrocks

Tries: Marshall x2, French, Miski, Bibby, Farrell

Goals: Smith (4/6)

 

Golden Gamble winning number: 16555