Warriors stalemate at jungle

Brian Noble said it was a Super League point dropped and not one picked up after watching Warriors struggle to a 22-22 draw with bottom club Castleford yesterday.

But the Wigan coach praised his side for battling back in the second half after facing a demoralising defeat at half-time.

Noble accepted the 14-6 lead built up by Tigers in the opening 40 minutes was on the back of some of the poorest handling he'd seen by his troops all season.

He said: "The amount of possession we dropped in the first 40 minutes was ridiculous.

"I don't think we completed one set of six and when you do that you ask for trouble.

"We were not great with the ball in our own half in particular, and it left us staring down the barrel of defeat. We certainly had a lot to fix up.

"But we were much more composed after the break, which was one positive."

While Richard Mathers wasn't the only culprit, Noble admitted his full-back did share plenty of the responsibility for spilled possession.

He added: "Richard didn't have his best game, but all players go through adversity at some time.

"It's how you react to it and what you do next that's more important.

"We knew Castleford can get emotionally high when big-name teams turn up as they have done for St Helens and Leeds already this season.

"They did the same with us yesterday, but with all due respect to them, I felt we should have won.

"At least our defence was a lot better than it was in France last weekend."

Tigers coach Terry Matterson said: "I know Wigan didn't play well, but I still thought we were the better side for a lot of the game."

Back-row forward Gareth Hock missed the game after failing a late fitness test on an ankle.

The injury threatens his place in the England squad being named later today for a game against France in Toulouse on Friday.

Scrum-half Sam Tomkins scored a hat-trick as Wigan Reserves beat Castleford 52-14 yesterday.

The Under-18s beat St Helens 18-14 at Edge Hall Road on Saturday.