Wigan Warriors 28 Castleford Tigers 0

Sean O'Loughlin returned from a three-month injury lay-off
Sean O'Loughlin returned from a three-month injury lay-off

HIGHLIGHTS may have been few and far between at a rain-soaked DW Stadium on Friday night but Warriors did enough to gain revenge over Castleford.

Second half tries from Michael McIlorum and Dan Sarginson ensured the Tigers had too much to do after an error-strewn first half kept the score low.

Warriors had to wait until five minutes before the break for a try - when quick thinking from the scrum set-up Joe Burgess’ seventh score in three games.

Deep in Wigan’s own half, Matty Smith kicked on the first tackle from the scrum, and with no Castleford full-back in place, Burgess and Ryan Hampshire gave chase - the Sydney-bound winger first on the scene and able to slide over despite the attention of two defenders.

Other than the try, only two Smith penalties broke up a half dominated by mistakes on the greasy surface.

But coach Shaun Wane was happy with how his side nilled their oppoenents for the third time in a month.

“I am very happy, it will be a good weekend,” he said.

“Our defence was great against a good team in conditions that would suit them more than us with them being a big set. I thought our defence was superb.

“I thought our attitude to defending was good. I never felt really threatened, I was more concerned about being squeaky clean with the ball in those sort of conditions.

“I wasn’t concerned but they are a good team. We were quite busted today and to nil a team like that and two weeks on the trot makes me very happy.

“Whether it is dry or wet we seem to be able to perform and against really good opposition.”

With the deadlock intact after 13 minutes, Smith kicked Wigan’s first goal and on 23 minutes, Adam Milner was penalised for ripping the ball from Sean O’Loughlin, returning from a three-month injury lay-off, which allowed Smith to double his side’s advantage.

In the meantime, Junior Moors was held-up in front of the South Stand for the away side and from a Luke Gale kick, Jordan Tansey missed the opportunity to put his side in front.

The full-back spilled the kick as it trickled along the pitch, with Tansey punching the post protector in frustration as Wigan cleaned up.

Warriors put themselves under pressure early in the second half when Hampshire launched himself across the ground to collect a kick, only to end up sliding into touch.

From the resulting set, Castleford’s Michael Channing was held-up before Wigan were let off the hook by a Ben Roberts knock on as the tackle count ran out.

Smith added another penalty 12 minutes into the second half before his 40/20 kick finally gave the crowd something to cheer.

And from the resultant scrum McIlorum dummied and ducked under the defence from close range to seal the win.

With 10 minutes to go, a risky but well-executed pass from Smith to Burgess saw the winger break clear, with Sarginson in support to claim the try.

And five minutes later, Dom Manfredi wrapped up the scoring when he spun out of a tackle on the Castleford line after taking a pass from Smith.

Castleford coach Daryl Powell believed the scoreline did not do his side any justice and felt they matched Wigan in nearly every department.

He said: “The scoreline doesn’t really reflect the game I don’t think. I thought the boys worked really hard without getting anything out of it.

“It was a tough game but I don’t think there was too much between the sides. It was not through lack of effort, tenacity or desire to win the game.

“In lots of areas we were really good tonight but couldn’t get that score that would put Wigan under pressure.”

Wigan Warriors: Ryan Hampshire; Dom Manfredi, Joel Tomkins, Dan Sarginson, Joe Burgess; George Williams, Matty Smith; Dom Crosby, Michael mcIlorum, Lee Mossop, Rhodri Lloyd, John Bateman; Sean O’Loughlin

Subs: Sam Powell, Taulima Tautai, Larne Patrick, Ryan Sutton

Castleford Tigers: Jordan Tansey; Ashley Gibson, Michael Channing, Michael Shenton, James Clare; Liam Finn, Luke Gale; Ryan Bailey, Adam Milner, Ryan Boyle, Frankie Mariano, Junior Moors; Lee Jewitt

Subs: Jake Webster, Ben Roberts, Grant Millington, Scott Wheeldon


Tries: Burgess, McIlorum

Goals: Smith 6




Half-time: 10-0

Attendance: 15,022