As practically the whole nation was transfixed on the Opening
Ceremony of the London Olympics taking place at the same time,
Wigan were seeing off Castleford at the DW Stadium.
The reality was Wigan took just 11 minutes to win this match.
They scored three tries in that spell to build a 16-0 lead and it
always looked like they were playing well within themselves for the
rest of the contest.
However, credit Castleford. They muscled up
in the pack after that moment and did well to halt Wigan for long
periods. Who knows, if Wigan had not scored after the hooter just
before half time, this could of been a different story.
But Wigan got off to a great start with two tries from, well
would you adam and eve it, Eric Lauaki!!! Not one but two.
Identical efforts as well. Cas get caught offside twice by referee
George Stokes and Lauaki soon barrels over from close range near
the posts. Easy conversions then for a 12-0 lead in 7 minutes.
Then a third try soon followed with Iain Thornley claiming his
fourth try in his third Wigan appearance by going over in the left
corner. Sam couldn't convert - 16-0.
Looked like Cas might roll
over and die at this point, but instead they got some possession
and grew in confidence. It was a long time in coming but they
deserved the next try of the game they claimed in the 37 minute.
Before that however we had a long injury delay when Darrell
Goulding was panned out by Nick Youngquest's knee. It was total
accident but Goulding's teeth took the brunt of the knee and he was
immediately out cold. Thankfully he's come round and is ok but that
was obviously the game over for him. Ginger Farrell came in to play
centre in his place.
Like I said, Cas got the games next try just
before half time with Rhys Williams mugging both Josh Charnley and
Sam Tomkins down the right wing. Excellent try, converted by
Youngquest for 16-6.
They needed to hold that to half time though
but couldn't. They made a error and Wigan once again scored right
on the hooter. The play the ball was got away a bugs dick before
the hooter sounded and after attacking towards the left, they then
went right and got Farrell over in the corner. Sam couldn't convert
but 20-6 took a bit of heat off.
Cas then put the sweat on Wigan
with the first try of the second half being scored by Oliver Holmes
in the 47th minute, converted for a score of 19+1 to 11+1 (can't
say the actual score at this point in fear those Olympic Organisers
will be suing me as I'm not an official olympic sponsor. Can I say
the word "Olympic? - oh bugger!). Wigan quickly took the heat off
though with an excellent try from George Carmont a few minutes
later. Good power from "one knee" George and Sam's conversion made
That lead should of quickly been extended when Gareth
Hock busted right up the middle from 60 out. The "Butcher" had
support both left and right, and should of sent the ball right for
an easy try under the posts, but instead he kept hold. Greedy,
greedy bastard. When he passed it was far too late and the chance
Wigan did scored next on 64 minutes to put the result
beyond down. Good one-two passing move between Sam and Thornley got
the full back over. He couldn't convert however - 30-12.
baldy Josh Charnley claimed his 27th Super League try of the
campaign on 74 minutes in the right corner, unconverted for 34-12,
before Cas scored a third try three minutes later from ex Wigan
player Stuart Jones.
Having seen Josh get his 27th, Sam kept the
heat on him for top league try scorer by claiming his second and
24th try of the campaign in the last minute. Converted it as well
for a final score of 40-16.
One final note. Matty Smith kicked
brilliantly in the first half. Nice and calm and finding touch to
keep Cas pinned back. That could be useful at the business end of