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Match Report: Wigan 4 Castleford 18
Posted by cherryandwhite on June 29 2013 - 10:49

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Castleford Tigers - Super League 18 Round 20.
Friday 28th June 2013
. Kick Off 8:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

To say this was a bad night at the office for Wigan was an understatement. Everything went wrong to say the least. For those supporters who can't make away games, it was not worth the 56 day wait since we last played at home.

I am firmly in the camp though who thinks that this was just a match too soon after Monday's bruising encounter against Warrington. The signs of fatigue were clear as day across the park.

Tell tale signs were at scrums. At scrums the rule is, and I hate this rule by the way, that if you rush and form it quickly, the clock is stopped. But Wigan consistently never had the energy to do this.

Also I reckon three times second half we made play the balls with no one up ready to receive. A couple of times we got away with it thanks to a sprinting up desperate player, but once we got caught when a Cas player pounced on Blake Green's play the ball.  That summed the night up that did.

Add in Lewis Tierney's error gifting Castleford the opening score and Pat Richards making an unforced error towards what would have been a walkover try for at least 4-6, then I think you just have to accept that this was never destined to be Wigan's night.

On paper the Wigan team looked boosted with Blake Green, Mike McIlorum and Gil Dudson returning for George Williams, Logan Tomkins and Tom Spencer. But it was questionable whether they were ready.

I mean, Green came on from the bench and had an absolute shocker. He kicked out of the full at one point and in attack put two woeful kicks into the in goal that went easily dead. He got better towards the back end of the game but its worth pointing out that Green falls into the category of having nowhere to play reserve team rugby. Being Australian he doesn't qualify for dual-reg and of course can't play Academy with no over age players allowed. Madness!

Andy Powell was also given a surprise debut and it's interesting to read Shaun Wane's post match comments about how he had intended to only use him in the weeks before the play offs. "It was either him or Andy Coley" he said. That highlights the problems up front with Eric Lauaki, Ben Flower, Paul Prescott, Scott Taylor and James Greenwood all absent. But yet it does beg the very big question of why Tom Spencer was allowed to play for Leigh on Thursday Night?

For the record, Powell had a good debut I felt. Nice and solid. He looked shit scared to make sure he got his play the ball correct but make some good metres overall.

Castleford meanwhile should always have smelt blood after we had played that tough game on Monday. I did call it. I'll pay the royalty to Waney for copyright here but I expected it to be tough, and it was! I do think most sides would have beat Wigan on this performance though. They just got us on the right night at the right time.

First twenty minutes saw no score but it was Castleford who enjoyed the better territory. Wigan had done brilliantly to defend with them having five sets in a row on our line at one point.

After that opening quarter I'm feeling confident that Wigan, having been starved of possession, would burst out of it but that proved flawless thinking because Cas took the lead on 22 minutes with Lewis Tierney struggling to control a kick in wet conditions.

It was tough for him though because he was caught in to minds. The kick was right on the goal line and what he was doing was trying to keep the ball in the field of play with a reached out arm. But the impact of tacklers created the error and Kirk Dixon just had to put his hand on the ball to score. He then converted for 6-0.

We should have hit straight back and had we done so this would have been a completely different game. Pat did brilliantly to gather in a Sam Powell kick initially but then somehow dropped the ball over the line with no defenders near him.

I was reminded of him doing similar in wet conditions on the break away at Castleford in 2011, which also proved costly. On that occasion he was on his way to scoring a try that would have made it 28-4, but we ended up drawing 22-22. Sport can come down to small margins but I think when you are playing teams like Castleford you got to knock the fight out of them but instead errors like that from Pat gave them a lift.

Still no panic because on the half hour Blake Green made his return for Sam Powell, whilst Andy Powell came on for Greg Burke. I'm thinking this will lift Wigan's spirits, but it never really happened.

Wigan actually had a try disallowed not long after they had made the field but despite that you could see Wigan beginning to look desperate for half time to be honest. We were still light in the pack, Jack Hughes replacing Dom Crosby being quite a telling interchange decision. Not really like for like is it?

No sooner had I tweeted that "we'll be lucky if this says 6-0", Cas had kicked a penalty goal for 8-0 then scored a try on that re-start to make it 12-0. The try, finished by Grant Millington, was an absolute blinder. They went 90 metres with about four passes in the move down the right wing but again it was a try for me that showed that it was not going to be our night. The passes were sticking for visitors, despite the wet conditions, and some risky ones as well.

So Wigan now had 40 minutes to avoid suffering back to back losses for the first time since August 2009 but any chance of a recovery was perhaps wasted by Green. It was this period early second half that he had his shocker. An early kick out on the full summing it up.

After 7 minutes I'd tweeted that this was no better. "Seriously write this one off" I wrote. Two minutes after I'd done that, Cas got a penalty and went for goal for 14-0. Now it's not a daft decision totally but I think they had the chance to go for the jugular and didn't. Especially with the kick being out wide and not surprisingly it was missed. Didn't matter because from the twenty metre drop out James Clare scored for 16-0 with the conversion missing.

That was the second time Wigan had conceded a try after a penalty goal shot from Cas. Again that highlights the fatigue for me. Not just physically but mentally. Stood around waiting for the penalty shots they were nodding off.

So it's now 16-0 to the visitors and you honestly begin to think whether Wigan could even avoid the nil. But I actually think Wigan deserve credit for never giving up. The next twenty minutes was actually a good spell.

A try came on 58 minutes from Josh Charnley that raised hopes. A good finish by him in the right corner but sadly Pat couldn't convert - 16-4.

We needed another try quickly and despite raising our game, Cas somehow hung in. In fact in two sets of defence we made them, inside their own 20, go backwards in attack. You don't see that often once, never mind twice! Matty Smith being a bugs dick away from a 40/20 summed up Wigan's luck but eventually that effort ended up all wasted by Green playing the ball to nobody and a Cas man pouncing on the loose ball.

In truth, despite the effort, a comeback never looked on. It was Castleford's night despite what I felt was Rangi Chase's best efforts to keep us in it. I felt he made some dumb decisions. He seriously tried an outrageous attacking kick from 95 metres away at one point whilst also dummying a drop goal attempt that looked a bigger gift than last Tuesday's £159 million Euro Millions winners got! The thing is it looks marvellous if it pays off but them moves are too big a gamble if you playing test rugby against Australia or New Zealand. If your in the lead like that during the final quarter of the match, it's the simple basic things you need to do to get over the line.

Anyway having missed a drop goal attempt from Jordan Tansey, Cas added a penalty right at the end to leave the final score at 18-4. This was never our night but it's massive now that Wigan respond over the next two games. Having collapsed after the Exiles break last season, some panic has set in amongst Wigan fans that history will be repeated. It's too early to say but that's the reality after last night. Amazing when on Monday we were seven minutes away from going five points clear....now the lead is down to one point. Thats sport!

My only saving grace is that I didn't have to commentate on this match because I would have been beside myself lol. But Bradford are here at Wigan next Friday and you can hear my thoughts at the ground, or wherever you are, during the match on  Wish FM (102.4FM). I'll be summarising the Full Match Commentary with commentator Mark Wilson.

Reaction to the Action

Coach Shaun Wane: "It was a poor performance. I thought Castleford were really good, they defended well and they handled the conditions better than us. I want to commend them because Daryl has done a great job while he has been there and the best team won. No excuses (from Monday), I still expect us to perform. For me to say that would take something away from Castleford and I thought they were good and the best team we have had here. We lacked a bit of energy and if that is because of last Monday then I expect us to get over that. We are better than that and it will never be used as an excuse. Andy (Powell) was good. I wanted to use him in six weeks' time but the way our front rowers are going it was either him or Andy Coley so I went with Andy Powell and I thought he ran hard. When you consider this game is really new to him I was very pleased with him."

Castleford coach Daryl Powell: "Defensively to concede four points against any Wigan team is a massive effort so I was delighted with the overall performance. The spirit and toughness of the side is growing all the time and I'm really delighted. Some of the tries we scored were fantastic and we are growing as a team all the time. The commitment and effort is first rate."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Castleford 1
35 Lewis Tierney Full Back Jordan Tansey 19
2 Josh Charnley

Winger

Richard Owen 1
3 Darrell Goulding Centre Michael Shenton 3
22 Anthony Gelling Centre Kirk Dixon 5
5 Pat Richards Winger James Clare 23
24 Sam Powell Stand Off Weller Hauraki 12
7 Matty Smith Scrum Half Rangi Chase 6
26 Dom Crosby Prop Ryan Boyle 27
9 Mike McIlorum Hooker Adam Milner 15
20 Gil Dudson Prop Craig Huby 10
11 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row Oliver Holmes 17
12 Liam Farrell 2nd Row Grant Millington 13
29 Greg Burke L.Forward Nathan Massey 16
-
4 Jack Hughes Substitute Jonathan Walker 8
6 Blake Green Substitute Daryl Clark 9
16 Chris Tuson Substitute Jordan Thompson 18
38 Andy Powell Substitute Keith Mason 25
- Shaun Wane Coach Daryl Powell -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 4 --- Castleford Tigers 16

Tries (1):
Josh Charnley

---

Tries (3):
Kirk Dixon
Grant Millington
James Clare

Goals:
Pat Richards 0/1
--- Goals:
Kirk Dixon 3/6

Scoring and Incident Pattern

20th Minute Wigan 00 Castleford 04 Try: Kirk Dixon
- Wigan 00 Castleford 06 Conversion: Kirk Dixon (1/1)
37th Minute Wigan 00 Castleford 08 Penalty Goal: Kirk Dixon (2/2)
38th Minute Wigan 00 Castleford 12 Try: Grant Millington
- Wigan 00 Castleford 12 K.Dixon Missed Conversion (2/3)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 00 Castleford Tigers 12
48th Minute Wigan 00 Castleford 12 K.Dixon Missed Penalty Goal (2/4)
49th Minute Wigan 00 Castleford 16 Try: James Clare
- Wigan 00 Castleford 16 K.Dixon Missed Conversion (2/5)
58th Minute Wigan 04 Castleford 16 Try: Josh Charnley
- Wigan 04 Castleford 16 P.Richards Missed Conversion (0/1)
80th Minute Wigan 04 Castleford 18 Penalty Goal: Kirk Dixon (3/6)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 04 Castleford Tigers 18

Video Highlights

Referee

Phil Bentham

Match Attendance

12,463 (North Stand Closed)

Weather

Wet.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 18 - Round 20

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Wigan Warriors 20 15 1 4 694 296 +398 31
2 Huddersfield Giants 20 15 0 5 633 373 +260 30
3 Warrington Wolves 20 14 1 5 668 349 +319 29
4 Leeds Rhinos 19 12 1 6 521 366 +155 25
5 Catalan Dragons 20 10 2 8 498 470 +28 22
6 Hull Kingston Rovers 20 11 0 9 512 567 -55 22
7 Hull FC 20 9 2 9 450 408 +42 20
8 St Helens 20 9 1 10 472 427 +45 19
9 Wakefield Wildcats 19 8 1 10 498 534 -36 17
10 Bradford Bulls 20 7 2 11 451 501 -50 16
11 Widnes Vikings 20 6 2 12 519 659 -140 14
12 Castleford Tigers 20 6 2 12 452 615 -163 14
13 Salford City Reds 20 5 1 14 335 739 -404 *9*
14 London Broncos 20 3 2 15 353 748 -395 8

Top Eight Qualify for the Play Offs
*Salford deducted two points for fielding 14 men during a match.

Round 20 Results
Fri 28 June Huddersfield Giants 60 Catalan Dragons 16 5,052
Fri 28 June St Helens 12 Hull Kingston Rovers 24 10,820
Fri 28 June Wigan Warriors 4 Castleford Tigers 18 12,463
Sat 29 June London Broncos 30 Salford City Reds 44 2,079
Sun 30 June Bradford Bulls 12 Warrington Wolves 26 8,485
Sun 30 June Widnes Vikings 36 Leeds Rhinos 52 6,230
Mon 1 July Hull FC 26 Wakefield Wildcats 27 10,000

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