Wigan Warriors 30 Castleford Tigers 22: Five things we learned

Five things we learned from Wigan's 30-22 victory against Castleford...
Liam Farrell impressedLiam Farrell impressed
Liam Farrell impressed

1. Wigan and Castleford were level when the season restarted - but have experienced contrasting fortunes since.

The Tigers have lost all of their three matches while Adrian Lam's Warriors have posted a 100 per cent record.

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This win moved them four points clear of the top ahead of today's matches and, with Hull KR next up on Thursday, they will be fancied to tighten their grip on top spot.

2. Morgan Smithies said a tackle which led to him being sinbinned - and James Clare stretchered off - "wasn't intentional".

The game was held up for several minutes early in the second-half while Clare was treated for a neck injury, from a suspected 'crusher tackle'.

Castleford coach Daryl Powell labelled it "terrible". Smithies took to Twitter, saying: "Hoping James Clare is okay, speedy recovery mate, wasn't intentional."

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The RFL's match review panel watch games on Monday before issuing any charges, and may also scrutinise an incident in the first half when Smithies lashed out at Grant Middleton.

3. To the game, and it wasn't the greatest as a spectacle, or in terms of quality.

Wigan were 12-0 down before battling back and posting three tries before the break.

They won't be happy to concede four tries, but the pleasing part was their game-management when the outcome was in the balance.

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Like the Leeds game, they kept their composure, reduced their errors and turned the screw when it was needed - as typified by Harry Smith's 40-20.

4. It was great to see Joe Burgess back in a Wigan shirt, even if it was under sad circumstances.

Dom Mafredi was a late withdrawal due to compassionate reasons.

Burgess - set to join Salford next year - was drafted into the side for his first match since before the lockdown and marked the occasion with a try.

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And he may keep his spot in the side, even if Manfredi returns, after Liam Marshall limped off early on with a knee injury.

5. Liam Farrell provided a timely reminder to England coach Shaun Wane - his former mentor - of just how good he is.

His late try crowned a stellar performance, in which he shored up the defence, punched through the Tigers line and frequently linked-up well with Jackson Hastings.

Wane was watching on from the vast, empty stands.

Lam was reluctant to single out any individuals for praise but did give credit to 19-year-old forward Ethan Havard, who motored through 80 minutes.