WHAT better way for Wigan to prepare for Monday's clash with deadly rivals
St Helens than to notch up a first hat-trick of wins?
After a shaky
start the Warriors have got their act together and another high scoring
display moved them up the table. In fact a win over Saints will push them
above the Super League champions - an amazing turn-around in fortunes
Last night Wigan started as if they had one eye on the derby with
bottom club Castleford dominating for the first half hour. But once they
had grabbed a couple of opportune tries and got their noses in front Wigan
raced away in a blistering second-half.
The half-back combination of Nigel Wright and Tony Smith continues to
blossom and with Gary Connolly, Andy Farrell and Simon Haughton in top
form the Warriors are aiming for at least second spot in the table.
"The players aren't getting carried away but we have a better balanced
look to the side and if we can't win the league we want to finish second,"
said Wright who is getting better with every game after spending a
tortuous two years sidelined with injury.
"We had the Monday game on our minds and it showed with our slow start,
but Castleford always give us a hard game. But we picked it up and in the
last 20 minutes were really on a roll."
Farrell and Lee Crooks had each added a penalty before Jason Critchley
took advantage of some slack tackling to race over and Crooks goaled.,
The Warriors were finding it difficult to contain the Tigers but
bounced back with two breakaway tries before the break. Wright picked up a
loose ball and raced 30 yards before putting in an inch perfect kick to
give Kris Radlinski an easy touchdown. Radlinski turned architect when he
broke through and drew two men before sending Robinson racing away and
Farrell added both goals.
A minute after the break and Wigan were home and dry when Graham
Steadman misjudged the kick-off resulting in a try for Wright which
That signalled the start of an electric second-half display which
completely devastated the Tigers.
Connolly nipped in for two tries followed by Robinson, Haughton and
Smith and Farrell added another four goals.
Coach Eric Hughes was happy with another win but added there was still
room for improvement.
"We will get better and it is vital we keep the roll going. It is also
important we are lucky with injuries. We have cover in most positions but
there are a couple of key roles where players would be sorely missed."
WIGAN: Paul, Robinson, Connolly, Radlinski, Johnson, Wright, Smith,
Cowie, Hall, O'Connor, Haughton, Cassidy, Farrell. Subs: Hansen (for
O'Connor 24), Holgate (for Cassidy 67), Tallec (for Cowie 50), Cardiss
(for Connolly 63), Cowie (for Farrell 69).
Castleford Tigers 8
|Gary Connolly (2)
Jason Robinson (2)
|Andy Farrell (7)
||Lee Crooks (2)