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Match Report: Wigan 22 Castleford 28
Posted by Bilko on February 20 2009 - 22:02

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Castleford Tigers - Engage Super League XIV Round 2.
Friday 20th February 2009. Kick Off 8:00pm at JJB Stadium.

Match Report

Wigan have yet to learn this season that a good 10 minute spell, which they produced second half, is not enough to win rugby league matches.

But in truth the team is undoing any hard work with abysmal execution. The half backs Tim Smith and Thomas Leuluai are not producing anything unless it's an individual effort like when Tommy scored his try. Really poor last tackle options time and time again.

Twice in the first half Smith kicked out on the full and Tommy also put in a kick towards the sticks which was like a drop goal attempt without attempting a drop goal (bet thats makes no sense lol). Not even the 100 metre world record holder could have raced onto the kick it was so bad.

I felt sorry for Feka tonight because he was doing what he should always be doing. Racing onto the ball and battering at the defence. But he had little support from senior partners Stuart Fielden and Biscuit Legs Andy Coley.

Mark Riddell tried his utmost but his ideas at hooker aren't working either. Biggest cheer he got all night was when he attempted a goal kick and stuck his arm out in his trademark fashion.

It wasn't all negative though. I thought Karl Pryce and Shaun Ainscough didn't let us down. Ainscough was outstanding. Great enthusiasm, a class try and a first half break which his team mates frittered away. Lovely to see a winger chalk the touchline and Ainscough wasn't scared of that. Certainly didn't show any nerves. I watched him tonight and it makes you think why the hell are we fannying about with Cameron Phelps? And why isn't fellow youngster Sam Tomkins being given his chance?

Tomkins has to come in next week. Whatever Tim Smith does in attack is wasted because his defence his amateurish. I texted a mate second half "Tim Smith can't defend" - next minute Brett Ferres was fending him from 10 metres out and manhandling him over the try line. Not good enough!

From the start it was clear Wigan were fraught with nerves. Castleford came out of the blocks and had two early scores ruled out - first Right-winger Kirk Dixon was brought back for putting a foot in touch then on the opposite wing Richard Owen definitely made a double movement in trying to score. Wigan too had a score chalked off when Shaun Ainscough was sent over in the corner by Leuluai but Ganson ruled a forward pass.

Cas eventually took the lead with two penalty goals from Kirk Dixon. Both from deep but dispatched from in front of the sticks to make it 4-0. Those kicks had come in the opening twenty minutes when Wigan struggled to complete a set due to the two kicks out on the full from Smith and Leuluai's garbage effort to get a repeat set.

Wigan though would get the games first try. Having got some good territory, it took an individual effort from Leuluai to go over under the sticks. He jinked inside to find the gap and Amos Roberts' conversion made it 6-4 to Wigan.

You'd have thought with a lead Wigan would have settled down but no they completely switched off and allowed Cas to build a good lead before half time.

First a kick from Brent Sherwin was touched down by Joe Westerman then he turned provider for a try which Brett Ferres finished. With Dixon converting both scores, in the space of two minutes 6-4 to Wigan had become 16-6 to Cas at half time.

Early second half and just like against Wakefield, Wigan got a quick score. Leuluai and Smith combined for once to send Karl Pryce over for a debut try. But from the touchline Amos Roberts couldn't convert. So back in it at 16-10 and I got the feeling the Wigan faithful thinking - right come on here we go now. But I was thinking - hmmm we did this against Wakefield and it did little to propel us towards victory.

My pessimism proved right because Cas answered with two quick tries down the left hand side, which was peppered all night. First Dixon scored then Ferres got a second touchdown as he manhandled Tim Smith away from ten metres out. Luckily Dixon failed to convert either score but at 24-10 it now looked a tall order.

The clock was still on Wigan's side though and they eventually found a good spell of form. They started making breaks and finding territory on the back of some of Feka's trademark runs.

Wigan would score three tries on the wings - the first two coming down the right hand side as first Darrell Goulding went in then Joel Tomkins scored. Nice try from Joel, quick thinking saw him sneak in from close range. Trouble for Wigan was the tries were on the touchline which made conversions for the back up kicker Roberts difficult. He shaded the sticks trying to convert Goulding's try then Riddell had a go but he too missed. But Wigan had at least cut the lead down to a converted try.

The potential equalising try was absolute class from Shaun Ainscough. Deep in our own half it was swung out wide to him on the left and he chalked the touchline all the way to the tryline showing no fears. Take a bow kid - superb effort. Again though out wide Roberts couldn't convert so despite scoring three tries in eight minutes, Wigan still trailed 22-24, but still had time with 15 minutes left.

In truth though that was the end of that from Wigan. They couldn't get close enough to threaten Cas. They defended strongly and most importantly they didn't give Wigan a crucial piggy back penalty. In fact it would be the Tigers that got a late winning try from Michael Shenton, but it had come in injury time after Wigan's last chance had gone.

So three defeats out of three does not make happy reading. Really not sure if I'm on the sack Noble bandwagon but he has to give Sam Tomkins a try next week in London. What does he have to lose? I remember when Wigan were fighting relegation he said "if we wasn't in a relegation battle I'd have a played a few youngsters" - hmmm well prove it Brian!

Reaction to the Action

Brian Noble: "The reality of this competition is that it's won in October and not February. We need some urgency in relation to getting a couple of points and getting our season under way. But I've no doubt we've got a team in there and when we get everybody on deck, we'll be fine. When we got within two points, I thought we might have got over - but we couldn't find that final pass. The reality is we gave ourselves too much to do. But you've got to give credit to the players for digging in to keep finding a way. We got caught with some elementary things defensively, which cost us dearly in the end; some individual one-on-one opportunities defensively really burnt us, and we've got to improve in that department."

Cas coach Terry Matterson: "It was important we got off the mark. I thought last week we weren't far off. We created two or three opportunities early on and were in a position to dominate - but when Wigan get on a roll with the crowd behind them, they are hard to stop. In the end we found a way to win. We would have lost a lot of these games last year. It's two points, and we're away."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Castleford -
2 Amos Roberts Full Back Ryan McGoldrick 23
20 Karl Pryce Winger Richard Owen 1
3 Darrell Goulding Centre Michael Shenton 3
4 George Carmont Centre James Evans 4
28 Shaun Ainscough Winger Kirk Dixon 2
6 Tim Smith Stand Off Sione Faumuina 21
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Brent Sherwin 6
8 Stuart Fielden Prop Liam Higgins 15
9 Mark Riddell Hooker Ryan Hudson 9
23 Eamon O'Carroll Prop Craig Huby 10
11 Gareth Hock 2nd Row Brett Ferres 11
14 Joel Tomkins 2nd Row Stuart Jones 14
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Joe Westerman 13
- - - - -
10 Iafeta Paleaaesina Substitute Rangi Chase 6
15 Andy Coley Substitute Mitchell Sargeant 8
16 Harrison Hansen Substitute Chris Feather 16
17 Mike McIlorum Substitute Kirk Netherton 19

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 22 --- Castleford Tigers 28
Tries (5):
Thomas Leuluai
Karl Pryce
Darrell Goulding
Joel Tomkins
Shaun Ainscough
--- Tries (5):
Joe Westerman
Brett Ferres 2
Kirk Dixon
Michael Shenton
Amos Roberts 1/4
Mark Riddell 0/1
--- Goals:
Kirk Dixon 4/7

Scoring and Incident Pattern

13th Minute Wigan 00 Castleford 02 Penalty Goal: Kirk Dixon (1/1)
16th Minute Wigan 00 Castleford 04 Penalty Goal: Kirk Dixon (2/2)
25th Minute Wigan 04 Castleford 04 Try: Thomas Leuluai
- Wigan 06 Castleford 04 Conversion: Amos Roberts (1/1)
34th Minute Wigan 06 Castleford 08 Try: Joe Westerman
- Wigan 06 Castleford 10 Conversion: Kirk Dixon (3/3)
36th Minute Wigan 06 Castleford 14 Try: Brett Ferres
- Wigan 06 Castleford 16 Conversion: Kirk Dixon (4/4)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 06 Castleford Tigers 16
43rd Minute Wigan 10 Castleford 16 Try: Karl Pryce
- Wigan 10 Castleford 16 A.Roberts Missed Conversion (1/2)
47th Minute Wigan 10 Castleford 20 Try: Kirk Dixon
- Wigan 10 Castleford 20 K.Dixon Missed Conversion (4/5)
50th Minute Wigan 10 Castleford 24 Try: Brett Ferres (2)
- Wigan 10 Castleford 24 K.Dixon Missed Conversion (4/6)
57th Minute Wigan 14 Castleford 24 Try: Darrell Goulding
- Wigan 14 Castleford 24 A.Roberts Missed Conversion (1/3)
62nd Minute Wigan 18 Castleford 24 Try: Joel Tomkins
- Wigan 18 Castleford 24 M.Riddell Missed Conversion (0/1)
65th Minute Wigan 22 Castleford 24 Try: Shaun Ainscough
- Wigan 22 Castleford 24 A.Roberts Missed Conversion (1/4)
79th Minute Wigan 22 Castleford 28 Try: Michael Shenton
- Wigan 22 Castleford 28 K.Dixon Missed Conversion (4/7)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 22 Castleford Tigers 28


Steve Ganson (St Helens)

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 7 Castleford 4

Match Attendance


Match Milestones

Karl Pryce made his Wigan debut and got his first Wigan try.
Shaun Ainscough made his Wigan debut and got his first Wigan try.



League Table at Conclusion of Super League 14 Round 2

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Leeds Rhinos 3 3 0 0 65 20 +45 6
2 St Helens 2 2 0 0 49 20 +29 4
3 Hull FC 2 2 0 0 46 30 +16 4
4 Wakefield Wildcats 3 2 0 1 45 34 +11 4
5 Huddersfield Giants 2 1 0 1 36 31 +5 2
6 Harlequins 1 1 0 0 12 8 +4 2
7 Castleford Tigers 2 1 0 1 36 34 +2 2
8 Catalans Dragons 2 1 0 1 48 50 -2 2
9 Salford City Reds 2 1 0 1 38 45 -7 2
10 Bradford Bulls 1 0 1 0 13 13 - 1
11 Hull Kingston Rovers 2 0 1 1 23 32 -9 1
12 Wigan Warriors 3 0 0 3 38 58 -20 0
13 Warrington Wolves 2 0 0 2 34 66 -32 0
14 Celtic Crusaders 3 0 0 3 42 84 -42 0

Round 2 Results
Fri 20 Feb Hull Kingston Rovers 10 Leeds Rhinos 19 8,623
Fri 20 Feb Wigan Warriors 22 Castleford Tigers 28 12,079
Sat 21 Feb Celtic Crusaders 20 Hull FC 28 5,272
Sat 21 Feb Warrington Wolves 20 Catalan Dragons 40 7,947
Sun 22 Feb Huddersfield Giants 6 St Helens 23 11,338
Sun 22 Feb Wakefield Wildcats 29 Salford City Reds 10 6,578
Postponed Harlequins v Bradford Bulls -

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