Wigan 20 Castleford 38
Match report as Wigan Warriors lose to Castleford Tigers 20-38 at the DW Stadium.
A strong Castleford first half decided the game as Wigan attempted to stage a second half comeback.
- Tom Davies, Sam Tomkins, Thomas Leuluai and Willie Isa score the tries for Wigan
The Warriors lost out to Castleford 20-38 in their final home game of 2017.
The Tigers led 20-0 at the break after a hat-trick from youngster Jake Trueman with the half-back assisting Greg Eden Castleford’s other try.
Wigan fought back well in the second half but left themselves with too much to do. Cas scored the first of the second half through Greg Minkin before Tom Davies, Sam Tomkins and Thomas Leuluai brought Wigan back within two converted efforts.
The Warriors lost Joe Burgess and George Williams in the second half and the Tigers crucially remained two-tries in front. Michael Shenton and Willie Isa exchanged tries before Minkin had the final word on the hooter for the visitors.
Joel Tomkins returned for the Warriors as did Joe Burgess with Sean O’Loughlin (calf) and Liam Marshall missing out.
Castleford were forced to field a new halfback pairing following the loss of Ben Roberts and Luke Gale with Paul McShane playing at stand-off alongside youngster Jake Trueman. Adam Milner moved to hooker and Nathan Massey started at loose forward.
Jake Trueman debuted for the Tigers and he made an instant impact as his bouncing grubber kick to the corner allowed Eden to score. McShane could not convert meaning Castleford led 0-4 after six minutes.
The Tigers got onto the board for the second time after coming close through Minikin. Milner placed a deft grubber into the in goal before Trueman was the first to react as he grounded next to the post. McShane converted, 0-10 after 16 first half minutes.
Wigan were coming up with too many errors and another one allowed Castleford a third try as Trueman raced in unopposed after a failed interception to score his second of the game. McShane missed his second conversion. After 25 minutes, Castleford led 0-14.
Filling in for Luke Gale, the youngster was certainly justifying his selection as he danced through the Wigan defence. McShane converted to extend the lead to 0-20 after 34 minutes and the Tigers went in at half time in control.
HALF TIME: Wigan Warriors 0–20 Castleford Tigers
Daryl Powell’s side picked up where they left off after the break as six minutes in they spread the ball out to Jake Webster before his flick pass found Minikin to score in the corner. Castleford led 0-26 after McShane’s conversion.
Wigan needed a response and it came in 55th minute as a great offload from Anthony Gelling gave Tom Davies a sniff and the winger went over for his 14th of the campaign.
Another try soon followed for Wigan when George Williams’ pinpoint grubber allowed Sam Tomkins to race through and score. Williams converted and Wigan were 10-26 down with just over 20 minutes to play.
Joe Burgess left the action with a hamstring injury but the Warriors certainly found a purple patch as they scored again. Tommy Leuluai ducked under Castleford’s defence to burst through the line to score. Williams converted and the lead was cut to two converted tries with 17 minutes left.
Wigan attacked once more but were unable to force their way over as Cas hung on. George Williams also left the action with what looked like an ankle injury, a cruel blow at a crucial stage of the game.
The Cherry and Whites’ hopes faded after 70 minutes when Michael Shenton spotted a gap to score for the Tigers.
A mix-up for Castleford in the in-goal saw Willie Isa put the ball down. Powell couldn’t convert. The score was 20-32 with four minutes to play.
Quick thinking at the scrum saw a kick towards Minikin who picked up and ran home for his second. McShane converted to leave the full-time score at 20-38.
FULL TIME: Wigan Warriors 20–38 Castleford Tigers
Wigan Warriors - 20
Tries: Tom Davies, Sam Tomkins, Thomas Leuluai, Willie Isa
Goals: George Williams 2/3, Sam Powell 0/1
Castleford Tigers - 38
Tries: Greg Eden 2, Jake Trueman 3, Greg Minikin, Michael Shenton
Goals: Paul McShane 5/7
Wigan Warriors: 1. Sam Tomkins, 36. Tom Davies, 3. Anthony Gelling, 4. Oliver Gildart, 5. Joe Burgess, 6. George Williams, 7. Tommy Leuluai, 8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 9. Micky McIlorum, 15. Tony Clubb, 14. John Bateman, 12. Liam Farrell, 11. Joel Tomkins
Interchange: 19. Ryan Sutton, 17. Taulima Tautai, 16. Sam Powell, 20. Willie Isa
Castleford Tigers: 1.Zak Hardaker, 2. Greg Minikin, 3. Jake Webster, 4. Michael Shenton, 5. Greg Eden, 9. Paul McShane, 35. Jake Trueman, 10. Grant Millington, 13. Adam Milner, 34. Alex Foster, 11. Oliver Holmes, 12. Mike McMeeken, 14. Nathan Massey
Interchange: 15. Jesse Sene-Lefao, 18. Matt Cook, 19. Gadwin Springer, 23. Tom Holmes
Referee: Ben Thaler