AN EARLY second half try from James Clare and smooth direction of Rangi Chase condemned Wigan to their second defeat in a week as their Super League lead was cut to one point.
The Warriors showed lethargy throughout their second game in four days and needed emergency cover due to the failed fitness tests of Logan Tomkins and Tom Spencer, who had played for Leigh the night before.
Shaun Wane was forced to bring in emergency cover in Chris Tuson and Andy Powell - making his debut since his move from Sale RU but it wasn’t enough to prevent Castleford winning at Wigan for the first time since 2009.
Chase was the ringmaster as the Tigers cut the Warriors to ribbons, making yards for fun in the opening exchanges.
The stand off sent a kick skyward in the 21st minute which Lewis Tierney making his home debut initially looked to have covered but the Tigers charge was enough to force an error from the young fullback.
After Tierney spilled the ball Kirk Dixon was waiting to drop on the ball and open Castleford’s account.
Wigan did manage to relieve the pressure when Richard Owens fumbled a Pat Richards special from a drop-out but they were uncharacteristically ineffective with ball in hand.
Sam Powell dinked a cute kick through for Richards to take unopposed from 10 yards out but the Ireland international spilled it leaving the scoreboard untroubled.
And Castleford were back in front of the Wigan line within a set of six.
Once more, Chase was the instigator as Daryl Powell’s troops smelled blood and he coolly slotted a probing kick which fooled Richards.
Owen was on the end of it and another score for the away side looked likely but the wingman couldn’t grasp it without sliding across the wet surface into touch.
Powell’s introduction on the half hour, earlier than many expected, did inject some life into the home side thanks to the former Welsh RU star’s enthusiasm but the Tigers were the next to break.
Chase was again the man with the carving knife as he slashed through the defence only for a laboured effort from Liam Farrell to race back and haul him down.
But the Tigers’ lead received a boost when Kirk Dixon opted to kick the two points on offer for a tackle infringement on Michael Shenton.
Straight from the restart, Jordan Tansey bashed his way through the jaded defence and handed over to Owen before Grant Millington finished the move from 30 yards out, handing off Tierney in the process.
The much-needed spark for the start of the second half didn’t materialise immediately and James Clare took full advantage by finishing a smart combination between Chase and Dixon to put his side three scores ahead.
With the hour approaching Josh Charnley finally crossed for the Warriors thanks to a classy basketball pass from Darrell Goulding.
It acted as the shot Wigan needed with a new-found urgency in their line speed but in attack the Tigers were still wise to the options they chose.
The Warriors last realistic chance to salvage a share of the spoils came 10 minutes from time as a sweeping move probed the Castleford line.
But 18-year-old Tierney couldn’t find Charnley with his pass, which was picked off by Clare and summed-up the Warriors’ night.
With the clock ticking down, Tansey attempted a drop-goal which sailed wide but there was enough time for Dixon to add another sting with a penalty goal to finish the scoring.
Wigan Warriors: Lewis Tierney, Josh Charnley, Darrell Goulding, Anthony Gelling, Pat Richards, Sam Powell, Matty Smith, Dom Crosby, Michael McIlorum, Gil Dudson, Harrison Hansen, Liam Farrell, Greg Burke
Replacements: Jack Hughes, Blake Green, Chris Tuson, Andy Powell
Castleford Tigers: Jordan Tansey, Richard Owen, Michael Shenton, Kirk Dixon, James Clare, Weller Hauraki, Rangi Chase, Ryan Boyle, Adam Milner, Craig Huby, Oliver Holmes, Grant Millington, Nathan MAssey
Replacements: Jonathan Walker, Daryl Clark, Jordan Thompson, Keith Mason
Referee: Phil Bentham
Tries: Dixon, Millington, Clare
Goals: Dixon 2