Castle for Tigers came from being 0-20 down inn the first half to haul themselves back into the game and defeat Wigan Warriors 38-28 tonight at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle.
Castleford coach Daryl Powell made four changes to his squad that suffered a golden-point defeat to Leeds Rhinos last week. Paul McShane was out with a three-match suspension, while Jordan Rankin, Junior Moors and Chris Clarkson all dropped out.
Calum Turner, who was a late inclusion last week, was selected at fullback, while Tuoyo Egodo was selected to replace Greg Minikin at centre, with Jacques O’Neill, and Mitch Clark joining Matt Cook and Will Maher on the bench. Greg Minikin and Alex Foster dropped out of the 19-man squad.
Wigan were boosted by the return of Joe Greenwood, who replaced Liam Paisley in the 19-man squad, but they suffered a setback with the late withdrawals of captain Sean O’Loughlin and prop Ben Flower. Prop Taulima Tautai had completed his suspension but wasn’t included in the original 10-man squad, but was called to the bench in the absence of Flower. Youngster Morgan Smithies who made his debut against the Catalans the previous Sunday, retained his place on the bench.
After 22 minutes Wigan led 20-0 with tries by Greenwood, Oliver Gildart, George Williams and Joe Burgess, with Zak Hardaker, returning to a hot reception at the Jungle, adding two conversions.
The Tigers fought back before the interval with tries by Oliver Holmes and Turner, with Wigan adding a second try by Gildart.for an 8-24 scoreline.
In the second half the Tigers scored three tries from Mitch Clark, Matt Cook and Adam Milner, all converted by Mata’utia to put them 26-24 ahead.
Wigan responded with Burgess second try to give them the lead, but with five minutes remaining Egodo touched down from dummy half and Mata’utia converted from the touchline, before he scored the Tigers’ final try on the hooter.
Tigers: Calum Turner, James Clare, Tuoyo Egodo, Michael Shenton, Greg Eden, Peter Mata’utia, Jake Trueman, Liam Watts, Adam Milner, Grant Millington, Oliver Holmes, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Nathan Massey; Subs: Mitch Clark, Matt Cook, Will Maher, Jacques O’Neill.
Tries: Holmes, Turner, Clark, Cook, Milner, Egodo, Mata’utia Goals: Mata’utia 5
Warriors: Zak Hardaker, Dom Manfredi, Dan Sarginson, Oliver Gildart, Joe Burgess, George Williams, Jarrod Sammut, Joe Bullock, Thomas Leuluai, Romain Navarrete, Willie Isa, Joe Greenwood, Oliver Partington; Subs: Liam Byrne, Taulima Tautai, Jake Shorrocks, Morgan Smithies.
Tries: Greenwood, Gildart 2, Williams, Burgess 2 Goals: Hardaker 2
A full report, photos and analysis from this match will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express.