Injury blow for Manfredi at Castleford
Dom Manfredi suffered an injury-blow on a night Wigan lost ground at the top of the Super League ladder.
Castleford finished strongly to claim a deserved 36-22 victory.
Super League’s top-tryscorer Denny Solomona bagged a hat-trick down the wing where Manfredi vacated following a heavy tackle by Rangi Chase early on.
Manfredi suffered concussion and an anterior cruciate ligament injury which could rule him out for the rest of the season.
Coach Shaun Wane said: “It’s a bad one. He got knocked out, and an ACL.
“We’ll have it scanned but it’s not looking good.”
Manfredi’s injury typified a miserable night for the Warriors, who suffered their third loss in four games to remain two points behind leaders Hull FC.
Two tries in as many minutes, by John Bateman and Lee Mossop, had cut Castleford’s lead to just four points with 10 minutes to go.
But hopes of a grandstand finish crumbled as Ryan Hampshire - on loan from the Warriors - crossed to secure the win, before Oliver Holmes added a late try.
Hampshire appeared to “bounce” the ball and Wane said that, had the game been on Sky Sports, the video referee would have “definitely” ruled it out.
“No question,” he said. “But at the end of the day, they scored more points so I’ll take it on the chin and move on.
“I don’t want to take away from what Cas did, they played with a lot of enthusiasm and we didn’t deal with it well.
“We could have won, we didn’t play that well. There were times we could have gripped it. I’d have been satisfied if we’d played better for longer periods. We have to dust ourselves down and get ready for next Friday (a home derby against St Helens).
“We got out-enthused in the first quarter, they had loads of momentum and we didn’t deal with it well. When you come here you need to be smart, and we weren’t.”
Sean O’Loughlin missed the game at the Jungle after a slight pull on his hamstring in the build-up.
In his absence, Sam Tomkins was the stand-in captain yet referee Joe Cobb prevented the full-back from speaking to him.
“He got told in the first-half he couldn’t speak to him,” said Wane. “He was asking respectful questions, he was captain... so I’m at a loss there. I don’t want to make any excuses, but... it’s crazy, I don’t get it.”
Castleford coach Daryl Powell praised hat-trick winger Solomona, who has now scored 31 tries in Super League.
And he added: “It was a big win for us. For large part of the game we were excellent.
“We were creaking towards the end but we hung in and there was some desperate defence.”