think it's a secret that Wigan's attack has been struggling
this year but it is not in that regard that I thought Wigan
lost this particular match. It was poor defence and
mentality where I thought Wigan failed this time.
had to read Daryl Powell's pre match comments to know that
Castleford were going to be right up for this game,
particularly after talking about Wigan's "arrogance".
up with a plan to upset and disrupt and to me it worked a
treat. Wigan seemed rattled and this was no more
highlighted by captain for the night Sam Tomkins.
to be more in a constant battle with the referee rather
than with the opposition. Of course he is entitled to
question decisions as captain but if every single decision
is being questioned, which is how it seemed to me, then it
totally wastes the effect?
I mean I
cannot recall Sean O’Loughlin having an argument with a
referee in all the years he’s been captain. Maybe the
referee was a fault as well but Sam pushing away Luke Dorn
when he was talking to Joe Cobb at one point was not great
regardless of what was being said. To me it was a white
flag towards Castleford players that they had got under his
skin. That is how it came across to me anyway.
always confident Wigan had tries in them and thought we
were battling reasonable well in the pack but a big
difference was at hooker. Paul McShane coming off the bench
for Cas in that position was a boost that Wigan couldn't
think Sam Powell has done an admirable job filling in for
Micky McIlorum this year but now the quality of opposition
is rising the square pegs, round holes nature of that
position is being found out. Not his fault. I firmly
believe he needs help but we don't seem to have the option
to do so. Jake Shorrocks has been tested but with little
conviction and that's highlighted by the fact he wasn't
used against Hull and now in this game as well. You also
can't afford a wasted sub so perhaps they need to bite the
bullet and give him a go. Results are getting so poor that
perhaps we have nothing to lose?
early loss of Dom Manfredi to concussion (we now know he
damaged an ACL as well) was a blow, no doubt, about that
particularly with Anthony Gelling only just returning. Dom
was hit hard by Rangi Chase but I didn't think it was a
foul live and I've seen nothing since to change my mind on
Bateman went to centre and although I like him as an option
in that position I think we are not performing well enough
now to get away with that. We have to utilise his undoutbed
quality to the max and him at centre wasted his involvement
in the game. Easy in hindsight but Isa would have been a
better option surely?
listen to me on Wish FM commentaries will know I constantly
worry about Gelling's defence. For me it is of a poor
standard for a player who has been with the club five years
He so often
dives out of the defence line and misses the tackle and
that causes havoc behind him. Here he was at fault for a
few tries I thought. Yes, I've sympathy that he is just
returning and that Denny Solomona is a handful for many but
I'm not basing my opinion on this one performance.
helped either that the first try came a minute after the
forced re-shuffle but Gelling was stood up and burned off
quickly on his wing from 80 metres out for Denny Solomona
to score the first try. Then for the second Gelling in the
build up made a collision on Greg Minkikin but got shrugged
off far too easily. Seconds later, Minikin was playing the
ball under the posts and Paul McShane darted over from
wasn't alone at fault on that McShane try either. It was
soft up the middle with him scoring far too easily against
Taulima Tautai. Luke Gale had missed the first conversion
but kicked a penalty and his conversion of the second made
it 12-0 to Cas after half an hour.
responded very quickly with nice foot work by Matty Smith
setting up Sam Powell, although him receiving the ball was
a tad fortunate. Smith converted for 12-6 and Wigan would
have been happy with that at half time.
increased their lead early second half and again Gelling
was questionable for me. Nice hands by Cas but Gelling's
position is not up with the defensive line. He hangs back
and the home side expose that to get Solomona in the
corner. Gale converted for 18-6. Wigan again responded well
to with Ben Flower bringing it back to 18-12 just three
minutes later with Smith converting again.
Solomona got Cas back up by 12 with his hat-trick try after
he plucked the ball out the air ahead of another forlorn
defensive effort by Gelling. Gale continued hitting great
conversions for 24-12.
at their ill-disciplined worst at this point and tempers
boiled over so much that just after the hour both Dom
Crosby and Oliver Holmes were sin binned. Wigan were
getting a scrum off memory but instead Cas got a penalty
that was kicked for 26-12.
ticking and you couldn't see a comeback but as so often
recently, Wigan rallied. Bateman was the key because he
started getting involved up the middle rather than being
out wide. He scored a try himself before setting up a
second for Lee Mossop and within two minutes 26-12 had
I can quote
a Cas fan in the gents after who said "with five minutes to
go they had us". Wigan were all over Cas like a rash now
BUT we looked clueless as to how to execute the win. Two
sets in particular were ended poorly. One saw George
Williams totally hesitate in what to do and another saw a
kick go in on the third tackle. Awful.
Castleford some valuable clock time and they sealed the
game with two tries in the last two minutes. The one scored
first by Wigan loanee Ryan Hampshire was questionably
bounced but to be fair it would be straw clutching to
complain to much about that. Oliver Holmes added another in
stoppage time to complete a deserved 36-22 win for the home
have another drawing board to contend with. Four defeats in
five is a worrying trend and with a derby to come it is
immense pressure that we now have to deal with. But can we?