Wigan ground out an excellent victory over Castleford at the DW in
awful conditions. Heavy Rain all night meant it was never going to
be a great watch quality wise but that shouldn't take away from a
Castleford coach Daryl Powell said afterwards that
28-0 "didn't reflect the game" and he is right. I thought
Castleford handled the conditions better first half but did little
with the territory.
The key to the victory though was discipline. The penalty count
was 9-6 in Wigan's favour but perhaps a new statistical category
should be created? Those being penalties in kickable range because
Castleford gave us four, to which we kicked three, and Wigan gave
them absolutely nothing in kickable range until the score line was
far beyond them "taking the two".
Had we not held our nerve and allowed them the chance of
slotting penalties then this would have been a far tougher task.
Wigan deserve great credit for that. I thought our back three of
Ryan Hampshire, Joe Burgess and Dom Manfredi played well
defensively also. Rocky had one moment of slipping in touch but
despite a lot of probing from Liam Finn, they handled well in the
Wigan didn't have much territory early on but when they did,
Matty Smith kicked penalty goals on 14 and 24 minutes for a 4-0
I was saying on Wish FM commentary that Shaun Wane would have
been delighted with that 4-0 lead because Castleford certainly had
the better territory. It wasn't that Wigan had played poorly
though. They defended their line superbly when it was required.
Wigan got a bonus of a try five minutes before the break. From a
scrum sixty metres out, Smith welled it down feed and Joe Burgess
did superbly to collect, keep hold, get back up and score.
Amazingly pace from Budgie. Apparently he called that move and it's
worth trying it again because he has the race won on most players.
Quite an effort to finish in the conditions also but Smith
converted for a 10-0 lead at the break.
That was a huge lead in these conditions and Wigan chipped their
lead further ahead with another penalty on 53 minutes but Smith
missed an opportunity to take us into a three score lead three
Castleford kept trying but Wigan had the control and the nail
the coffin came on 62 minutes when Smith kicked a 40/20. From that,
Mike McIlorum scored under the posts with Smith converting for
That score allowed Wigan to be a bit more expansive and two more
tries followed in the last ten minutes. First a good fired out pass
to the left saw Burgess feed Dan Sarginson for the finish and with
five minutes to go, Manfredi spun out of tackles to beat four
defenders before scoring. That extended his run of scoring in each
of his last seven appearances for the club.
So the final score was 28-0 and it's been pleasing recently to
see Wigan winning games in good fashion in both wet weather and on
dry pitches. We just need to play better away from home but I'm
sure that will come.