Wigan Warriors maintained their 100% win record in Super League with a hard-fought 22-12 victory over Castleford Tigers.
Bevan French, 2020 Man of Steel, marked his Wigan Warriors return with two outstanding tries, while Hardaker added a four-pointer and two conversions during the contest.
The Tigers, who were without Gareth O’Brien (injury) and Jesse Sene-Lefao (suspended), were four points down at the interval, and lost Grant Millington midway through the second half due to a head injury.
Derrell Olpherts crossed out-wide to open the scoring, with Harry Smith providing an audacious assist to allow Zak Hardaker to equalise, but a Paul McShane penalty shifted the control in favour of the visitors. French crashed over in the corner prior to half-time for the lead.
Despite defensive efforts from French, Olpherts’ second score ignited some hope for Castleford on 47 minutes, but McShane missed a crucial conversion which would’ve re-gained their lead.
Wigan ensured their flawless start to Super League continued as Sam Powell scooted his way over from dummy half, with Hardaker making the conversion to make it 22-12.
Warriors: T – Hardaker (25), French (37, 51), Powell (76); G – Hardaker 3/4
Tigers: T – Olpherts (15, 47); G – McShane 2/3
A full report and photos from this game will feature in Monday’s League Express, which can be ordered from all good newsagents. Alternatively you can subscribe to the printed or digital version of League Express by going here.