Match report as Wigan Warriors beat Castleford Tigers 33-26 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle
England international Joel Tomkins makes return from injury
- Josh Charnley (2), Sam Tomkins, Dom Manfredi and Sam Powell with Wigan’s tries
Wigan Warriors secured their first away win at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle in three years as they beat Castleford Tigers 33-26 in a plusating game.
Matty Smith scored 13 points for the Warriors as they sealed their second win on the road in the space of six days.
England international Joel Tomkins returned from injury and started at loose forward in place of the injured Sean O’Loughlin. Half-back Ryan Hampshire came back into the Castleford side to face his parent club.
Shaun Wane’s side started the game well and were ahead in just the third minute when George Williams’ cut-out pass found Josh Charnley who scored in the corner. Matty Smith converted and Wigan led 6-0.
Castleford started to gain big metres following the Wigan try and crossed the line in the ninth minute. Luke Dorn attacked the line on the last and offloaded to Paul McShane who dived over from close range. Half-back Luke Gale added the extras to level the score at 6-6.
The Tigers were awarded a penalty just a minute later and opted to take the two. Gale added the two points to put his side 8-6 ahead.
Castleford looked to have extended their lead in the 18th minute as Denny Solomona scooted over in the corner but it was chalked off by the video referee.
Wigan started to gain momentum after being awarded two consecutive penalties and moved their way up the field. The Warriors soon got themselves on the Castleford line and box office full-back Sam Tomkins scored for the second game in a row as he latched onto a Matty Smith grubber to reach over. Smith added the extras and Wigan were 12-8 to the good after 21 minutes.
The game was being played at a frantic pace and Cas were starting to press the Warriors line. Gale threw a fine 20 metre cut out pass wide to Solomona who darted over in the corner. Gale dragged his conversion attempt wide, the score was tied once more at 12-12 after half an hour.
The Cherry and Whites looked to gain the advantage before half-time and won a penalty close to the Cas line after John Bateman was held down at the play the ball. Frustrated at the decision, Luke Dorn ran in with Ben Thaler calming things down before Matty Smith added the two to give Wigan a 14-12 lead.
On the stroke of half-time, Castleford were reduced to 12 men after Jake Webster disagreed with one of the referee’s decisions and was shown the yellow card.
HALF TIME: Castleford Tigers 12–14 Wigan Warriors
Wigan were quick out of the blocks following the restart. Dom Manfredi made a fine 50-metre break to get Wigan up field before finishing later in the set on the right. Smith’s boot made it 20-12 to Wigan after 43 minutes.
The Tigers gained a penalty six minutes later due to a swinging arm from Wigan and Gale notched up the conversion to reduce the deficit to 20-14 in favour of Wigan.
Wigan replied just minutes later when a nice move saw Josh Charnley crash over for his second of the night. The conversion was good and Wigan were 26-14 in front.
The Warriors were well on top at this point and with Cas on the back foot they conceded a penalty for stopping George Williams from getting to his feet after a half-break. Matty Smith soon had ball in hand and Wigan were now three tries up at 28-14.
Daryl Powell’s side fought back well and Gale was pulling the strings. They went over for their third as full-back Luke Dorn played a flat ball to Webster who burst through the Warriors defence to score and make amends for his earlier sin-binning. Gale was on point with the conversion, Wigan still led 28-20.
The Cherry and Whites were taking powerful carries through the middle with the likes of Dom Crosby and Ryan Sutton putting in hard yards. Rising star Gildart patted back a towering Smith bomb to the ever-impressive Sam Powell who kicked it on for himself to go over. Smith’s conversion attempt went just wide of the mark, Wigan were 32-20 ahead after 69 minutes.
Castleford got themselves back up in the Warriors end of the field just minutes later and Dorn ran a good line to cross the whitewash but it was disallowed for him knocking-on while going over.
The Tigers gained some confidence after going close and went over on the left edge again through a Solomona trademark finish after receiving a well-timed pass from Dorn. Gale converted to bring the margin to just six points with seven minutes remaining.
With the game on a knife-edge the Warriors needed a big play, up step Matty Smith. The Club’s record drop-goal kicker was at it again as he slotted him a vital one-pointer to give Wigan a 7 point lead.
Rampaging forward Ryan Sutton looked to have scored late on as he pounced on a George Williams grubber but the video referee said no try as the ball was out of play.
It was elementary though as Wigan held on for a fine 33-26 victory.
FULL TIME: Castleford Tigers 26–33 Wigan Warriors
Castleford Tigers – 26
Tries: McShane, Solomona 2, Webster
Goals: Gale 5/6
Wigan Warriors – 33
Tries: Charnley 2, S Tomkins, Manfredi, Powell
Goals: Smith 6/7
Drop Goals: Smith 1
Attendance – 5,558
Castleford Tigers: 1. Luke Dorn; 34. Paddy Flynn, 19. Ben Crooks, 3. Jake Webster, 5. Denny Solomona; 15. Paul McShane, 7. Luke Gale; 32. Larne Patrick, 9. Adam Milner, 10. Grant Millington; 17. Junior Moors, 12. Mike McMeeken; 14. Lee Jewitt
Interchange: 33. Danny Tickle, 22. Gadwin Springer, 18. Ryan Hampshire, 16. Matt Cook
Wigan Warriors: 1. Sam Tomkins; 5. Dom Manfredi, 4. Dan Sarginson, 20. Oliver Gildart, 2. Josh Charnley; 6. George Williams, 7. Matty Smith; 8. Dom Crosby, 16. Sam Powell, 10. Ben Flower; 14. John Bateman, 25. Willie Isa; 11. Joel Tomkins
Interchange: 17. Lee Mossop, 19. Taulima Tautai, 21. Ryan Sutton, 26. Greg Burke
Referee – Ben Thaler