Match Report: Wigan 26 Castleford 12
Posted by Bilko on April 16 2016 - 18:39
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Wigan Warriors v Castleford Tigers - First Utility Super League 21 - Round 11
Friday 15th April 2016. Kick Off 8:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

Great result for Wigan this. After the debacle last Sunday and the illness crisis affecting the team, the last opponent we perhaps needed to play was a bogey Castleford side.

We still laboured in attack for the first hour at least but to come home with a wet sail of better fitness was a great triumph given the circumstances.

John Bateman was the ultimate difference. His solo try on the hour broke the backs of Castleford and the result never looked in doubt after that.

You could tell straight away in the game that Wigan were not lacking energy like was so obvious at Wakefield. The first set was good in defence but sadly ruined by an early penalty conceded by Willie Isa, for a late hit on Luke Gale. That hit certainly upset the Radio Yorkshire commentators behind me but my eyes had moved away to where the kick was going, so I didn't see it. Given my eyes had followed the kick it must have been late but whether it was a major foul who knows.

Castleford didn't score from that but a second penalty helped them towards the opening try from Denny Solomona. Nice finish and Luke Gale converted for 6-0 to the visitors after 8 minutes.

It was perhaps big for Wigan that they responded to that very quickly. Within four minutes in fact with Lewis Tierney chipping forward to finish himself near the sticks. Cas were incensed by a forward pass that wasn't given and to be honest I think they had a fair case. Luke Gale spoke to Phil Bentham too harshly though and was dispatched to the sin bin for 10 minutes. Matty Smith converted for 6-6.

Wigan didn't really threaten with the man advantage. In fact the only addition to the score first half was a time expired penalty by Smith for 8-6 at the break.

It had been a good battle in the forwards for a long time but from a Wigan point of view the attack was still failing like so often this season. Then when Cas took the lead again early second half, Grant Millington crossing and Luke Gale converting for 12-8, it began to look ominous for Wigan.

However, the response to that set back was good. The last half hour was actually territorially dominated for Wigan. It make have taken that solo try from Bateman to burst the dam but Cas had been hanging on for a few minutes before then. Smith converted on the hour to put Wigan 14-12 ahead.

What helped Wigan keep control in the final quarter was the last tackle improving massively. We all of a sudden started putting kicks that left Cas trapped in their own quarter rather than returning easily.

The match was eventually decided in the 70th Minute with a lovely first career try for Nick Gregson. He played well in this match to be fair and his try was a lovely drop of the shoulder to burst a gap and round slightly towards the posts. That helped Smith convert for a crucial two score lead at 20-12.

A short kick off won still gave Cas hope but Wigan saw off a couple of sets and that proved to be that. Bateman then put the cherry on top of his match of the match cake with a second try in the final minute, Smith kicking a good goal to complete a 100% conversion night for him also.

I hope we can carry that last twenty minutes into next week. The improvement in the kicking game gave us control and with it good game management. Perhaps it was a game too far for Castleford, who've had injuries themselves in recent week. They did flag but after what we went through last week, this was a great recovery in the end.

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Castleford 1
4 Dan Sarginson Full Back Ryan Hampshire 18
2 Josh Charnley

Right Wing

Joel Monaghan 2
14 John Bateman Centre Greg Minikin 24
20 Oliver Gildart Centre Jake Webster 3
22 Lewis Tierney Left Wing Denny Solomona 5
27 Nick Gregson Stand Off Tom Holmes 27
7 Matty Smith Scrum Half Luke Gale 7
17 Lee Mossop Prop Andy Lynch 8
16 Sam Powell Hooker Adam Milner 9

Tony Clubb


Lee Jewitt

11 Joel Tomkins 2nd Row Oliver Holmes 11
25 Willie Isa 2nd Row Mike McMeeken 12

Ryan Sutton


Nathan Massey

8 Dom Crosby Substitute Grant Millington 10
19 Taulima Tautai Substitute Paul McShane 15
26 Greg Burke Substitute Matt Cook 16
29 Joe Bretherton Substitute Will Maher 23
- Shaun Wane Coach Daryl Powell -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 26


Castleford Tigers 12

Tries (4):
Lewis Tierney
John Bateman 2
Nick Gregson


Tries (2):
Denny Solomona
Grant Millington

Matty Smith 5/5
--- Goals:
Luke Gale 2/2

Scoring and Incident Pattern

8th Minute Wigan 00 Castleford 04 Try: Denny Solomona
Wigan 00 Castleford 06 Conversion: Luke Gale (1/1)
12th Minute Wigan 04 Castleford 06 Try: Lewis Tierney
Castleford Sin Bin Luke Gale (Dissent)
Wigan 06 Castleford 06 Conversion: Matty Smith (1/1)
40th Minute Wigan 08 Castleford 06 Penalty Goal: Matty Smith (2/2)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 08 Castleford Tigers 06
46th Minute Wigan 08 Castleford 10 Try: Grant Millington
Wigan 08 Castleford 12 Conversion: Luke Gale (2/2)
60th Minute Wigan 12 Castleford 12

Try: John Bateman

Wigan 14 Castleford 12 Conversion: Matty Smith (3/3)
70th Minute Wigan 18 Castleford 12 Try: Nick Gregson
Wigan 20 Castleford 12 Conversion: Matty Smith (4/4)
80th Minute Wigan 24 Castleford 12 Try: John Bateman (2)
Wigan 26 Castleford 12 Conversion: Matty Smith (5/5)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 26 Castleford Tigers 12


Phil Bentham

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 7 Castleford 7

Match Attendance



Dry Night. Bit Nippy.