Wigan came from 12-0 down to complete a third victory
in a row since the league restarted following the Covid Lockdown.
Originally they were meant to play Catalan Dragons
but a Covid outbreak within the Perpignan outfit saw Cas come off bye
week standby and become Wigan's opponents at four days notice. Something
the league will just have to get used to.
It didn't seem to be too much hassle for Cas though.
They found a 12-0 lead in 21 minutes with tries from Gareth O'Brien and
Nathan Massey both being converted by Danny Richardson.
Wigan had been flat and guilty of inviting Castleford
on during the early period. At times we look very comfortable defending
but the tries conceded were soft and eventually if we don't iron that
out of our performances it will catch up with us. However, now is not
necessarily the time to be needing to nail 80 minute efforts. In three
weeks time it might be Castleford again in the cup and that will be far
Despite these minor lapses during games, Wigan are
proving difficult to pin down at the moment. When they do get on the
attack they can find ways to score from either close or deep range and
here Castleford's lead was whittled from 12 to 2 within less than two
First Sam Powell scooted over from close range before
lovely play between Jackson Hastings and Liam Farrell got Joe Burgess
over for his third try of the season in just his fourth appearance.
Budgie may be off next year and only getting his chance because Dom
Manfredi was mourning the loss of his dog but he's quite a handy back up
to have ready when he's on his game.
Ben Flower has only played once this season, the game
at Salford just before lockdown, but he looked in good nick here and
scored a good power over on 34 to give Wigan the lead at 16-12 which
held to half time.
Early in the second half Morgan Smithies was sin
binned for a dangerous tackle. It'll be interesting what the
disciplinary made of that but his absent saw Cas find an overlap to
level the scores two minutes later with Derrell Olpherts try but
Richardson failing to convert left the score 16-16.
Wigan did well to hold the sin bin period and came
out of it with a penalty from Hardaker making it 18-16 on 54 minutes.
Another excellent showing from Liam Farrell was
topped with the game crucial try just after the hour with him powering
over in his favoured left side slot just. Hardaker's conversion making
The match was pretty much sealed with thirteen
minutes to go with Joe Bullock getting off the nuddy run with his first
try since April 2019. Hardaker's kick made it 30-16.
Castleford found a consolation when Hardaker dealt
with a kick poorly to allow Michael Shenton to nick four points but
although Richardson converted for 30-22 it proved enough. Albeit doubts
of "here we go again" had crept in from the Wakefield game three weeks
So Wigan had gone four points clear for 24 hours at
least but it still feels this side still has another gear that it can,
or needs to, step up when the timing is right.