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Wigan secured second spot and a home play-off tie when the Tigers came to town. The visitors needed a win to secure fifth and their own play-off participation – while knowing that they hadn't secured a victory, or scored a try, in either of their last two visits to the DW stadium, including last season's play-off semi.

But it was Castleford who opened the scoring in this encounter. Awarded a penalty in the eighth minute, after Wigan were caught with hands in the ruck, Gareth Ellis went for the two and duly slotted the ball over.

Unfortunately for the visiting fans, it was the last time the black and amber team troubled the scoreboard operator until the 80th minute.

Wigan opened their account with a try in the 16th minute when the ball reached George Williams just 10 metres out. He brushed past Mike McMeeken and the Tigers' defence opened invitingly for him to stroll in. 

Zak Hardaker failed to convert and the score stayed at 4-2 until half time, with Ellis ruing two missed kickable penalties, on just on the hooter.

But the hosts came out with all guns firing after the break.

The half was just three minutes old when former Cas talisman Hardaker dabbed the ball into the in-goal area following a break by Oliver Gildart and raced through to touch the ball down himself, before kicking the conversion for a 10-2 scoreline.

Barely a minute later, Dan Sarginson broke down the right to give Joe Greenwood the chance to score one-handed in the corner. Hardaker failed to convert, but at 14-2 the game was already looking beyond a Castleford team who showed no more sign of breaking through the Wigan defence than they had on their two previous visits.

When Gildart touched down in the corner on the 62nd minute for an 18-2 score, the game was over.

The visitors were clearly getting frustrated and that boiled over when Jesse Sene-Lefeo dropped to his knees on an already tackled and grounded Oliver Partington, resulting in an inevitable, and justified, red card.

The scoreboard still had a couple of late developments to record though. First Hardaker kicked the penalty, then 18-year-old Morgan Smithies strolled through a mile-side gap for Wigan's final try, which, with Hardaker's conversion took their score out to 26.

Then in the final play of the game, Hardaker fumbled a desparate Casleford kick through. Cheyse Blair pounced on the loose ball for a consolation last-minute try, converted by Ellis, and a 26-8 final scoreline.

Wigan, last year’s champions, started this campaign firmly at the bottom of the table after a points deduction. After 29 regular rounds, they’ve climbed to second and enter the play-offs with plenty of confidence.

Castleford, on the other hand, have to wait on the result of Friday's Hull v St Helens game to find out if they're playing next weekend or not.

Wigan 26 Castleford 8

(Half Time 4-2)

Wigan: Hardaker; French, Sarginson, Gildart, Burgess; Williams, Leuluai; Clubb, Powell, Partington, Isa, Greenwood, Smithies. Interchanges: Byrne, Navarrete, Flower, O'Loughlin.

Tries: Williams, Hardaker, Greenwood, Gildart, Smithies Goals: Hardaker 3

Castleford: Rankin; Clare, Mata'utia, Blair, Minikin; Trueman, Ellis; Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey. Interchanges: Holmes, Cook, Clarkson, Smith

Tries: Blair Goals: Ellis 2

Sent off: Sene-Lefao (66).

Referee: James Child.



Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Fri 13th Sep 2019 5:10 PM | Views : 6673 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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