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5th April 1998: Wigan 18 Castleford 4
Posted by Bilko on December 30 2015 - 13:16
Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors 18 Castleford Tigers 4 - Sunday 5th April 1998
Venue: Central Park, Wigan
Competition: JJB Sports Super League 3 - Round 1
Kick Off: 7:15pm

WiganlBacks:l 1. Kris Radlinski, 20. Lee Gilmour, 4. Gary Connolly, 3. Danny Moore, 2. Jason Robinson, 6. Henry Paul, 7. Tony Smith
WiganlForwards:l 8. Neil Cowie, 9. Robbie McCormack, 10. Tony Mestrov, 11. Denis Betts, 12. Simon Haughton, 13. Andy Farrell

14. Mick Cassidy, 16. Terry O'Connor, 17. Stephen Holgate, 25. Paul Johnson


Henry Paul, Tony Smith 2

WiganlGoals:l Andy Farrell 3

CastlefordlBacks:l 1. Jason Flowers, 2. Richard Gay, 4. Barrie-Jon Mather, 3. Jason Critchley, 18. Danny Ellison, 23. Brad Davis, 7. Mike Ford
CastlefordlForwards:l 8. Richard McKell, 9. Richard Russell, 14. Nathan Sykes, 12. Andrew Shick, 21. Gaël Tallec, 13. Adrian Vowles

6. Francis Maloney, 11. Lee Harland, 16. Danny Orr, 22. Michael Smith


Barrie-Jon Mather

CastlefordlGoals:l (None)
Half Time:l

Wigan 6 Castleford 4




Stuart Cummings (Widnes)


Live Coverage on Sky Sports

Top of the JJB Sports Super League 3 - After This Round
1st Place:l Bradford - Played - 1 - Won - 1 - Drawn - 0 - Lost - 0 - Points: - 2
2nd Place:l Halifax - Played - 1 - Won - 1 - Drawn - 0 - Lost - 0 - Points: - 2
3rd Place:l Leeds - Played - 1 - Won - 1 - Drawn - 0 - Lost - 0 - Points: - 2
4th Place:l Wigan - Played - 1 - Won - 1 - Drawn - 0 - Lost - 0 - Points: - 2
5th Place:l Hull - Played - 1 - Won - 1 - Drawn - 0 - Lost - 0 - Points: - 2

Super League 3 - Round 1 Results
Fri 3 Apr - Huddersfield Giants 6 Bradford Bulls 38 - 12,417
Sun 5 Apr - Leeds Rhinos 30 Warrington Wolves 8 - 9,897
Sun 5 Apr - London Broncos 6 Halifax Blue Sox 32 - 3,400

Sun 5 Apr

- Salford Reds 14 St Helens 18 - 7,337
Sun 5 Apr - Sheffield Eagles 24 Hull Sharks 34 - 5,200
Sun 5 Apr - Wigan Warriors 18 Castleford Tigers 14 - 10,920

Match Report

The odds-on favourites Wigan saw the biggest Super League crowd for a year at Central Park on Sunday, despite the freezing wind and the heavy rain. Stuart Cummings, match referee, blew the whistle to begin what proved to be a closer than expected encounter. It was never going to be a classic in these wintry conditions, but both teams needed a good start to Super League 3.

The early part of the game saw solid tackling from both teams, and lots of handling errors. The Tigers broke this deadlock after just 7 minutes. Ford kicked a high ball to the right and Mather stole the loose ball to stride over for a try. The video referee later confirmed the try for Wigan old boy Barrie-Jon Mather and Brad Davies failed to convert. On 19 minutes what seemed like an innocuous tackle by Mather had Simon Haughton being helped from the field with a potentially dislocated shoulder, he didn't return as a precaution. As time went by Wigan appeared to be caught in an increasing hurry to get points onto the board, and this resulted in missed passes and mistakes galore..

Hard and fierce tackling continued on the lush and muddy Central Park turf until a full 30 minutes had gone by. Henry Paul then broke the Castleford defence with an easy 4 points. Andy Farrell's huge skyward kick on the fifth tackle was misjudged by full back Jason Flowers, who was under pressure from no-one. Henry Paul in the right place at the right time picked up the loose ball and placed it between the posts. The first half ended 6 - 4, as the rain continued to stream down.

The second half began very much as the first, with the tackling being hard and fair. The ball was slippery throughout and this did lead to a number of turnovers. 5 minutes into this half Andy Farrell uncharacteristically missed a 2-point penalty kick, awarded for stripping the ball, no doubt due to the increasingly sodden pitch. At 55 minutes the continued hard running by the forwards began to show rewards. Tony Smith, the man of the match, at the end of an excellent set of six, stretched for line while being tackled and the score was extended to 12 - 4. This meant Castleford had to score twice, which was looking very unlikely against a very solid and disciplined Wigan defence. A gash to Smiths wrist 10 minutes after his try put him in the blood bin. A few stitches were required and a quick repair saw Smith take the field again a few minutes later.

The game wasn't fully wrapped up until a minute from time. Prop forward Neil Cowie, 5 yards from the Castleford goal line half lost the ball and produced a grubber kick, which was angled back along the Wigan players. This went straight to Tony Smith whose delight was evident from along way out as he ran in unopposed to put down near the posts. The conversion ended the game.

Overall, a game of good solid defence from both sides and plenty of mistakes. The obvious problems of a slippery ball and torrential rain did not detract from a tight and exciting encounter, although it will never be remembered as a classic.

Other Information

Pitch: Muddy and Heavy going
Weather: Wet, Windy and Cold.
Man of the match: Wigan: Tony Smith

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