In a Nutshell
Castleford Tigers played magnificently, especially in defence, to beat Wigan 4-16 in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-final at the DW Stadium.
How it unfolded
There had been a considerable degree of needle in the buildup to the game, and the two sides clearly had that in mind as they went at each other early on.
The Tigers were unfortunate after 14 minutes when Marc Sneyd kicked through and Matty Bowen appeared to knock on near his own line. But the video referee ruled that Bowen had in fact charged the ball down, and Wigan got the scrum feed.
The Tigers were soon on the attack again, and Kirk Dixon dashed down the right wing and passed inside to Jake Webster, who couldn’t hold the ball when a try looked likely.
And after 28 minutes there was more controversy when Luke Dorn scored, but the Tigers were penalised when Weller Hauraki was adjudged to have obstructed George Williams.
But the Tigers finally took the lead three minutes later, when smart passing to the left saw James Clare touch down, and this time the video referee could find no reason to disallow the try. Sneyd converted to give Castleford a six-point lead at the interval.
There was still time in the first half for John Bateman to pull off a tremendous try saving tackle on Andy Lynch.
At the start of the second half Joe Burgess dropped a pass from Liam Farrell with the line at his mercy.
The Tigers then missed a golden opportunity when Dorn broke and passed inside to Michael Shenton, who nudged the ball forward to Sneyd.
The Tigers had to contend with enormous Wigan pressure in the second half, and they finally buckled on 63 minutes when Farrell went over after good work from O’Loughlin and Williams, but they were still behind when Smith missed the conversion.
The Wigan fans thought that their team would be able to carry on their momentum, but the Tigers would have none of it, and with ten minutes remaining Kirk Dixon scored after a superb pass from Jake Webster, although Sneyd couldn’t add the goal.
And the scoring was completed by Lee Jewitt, who shot over from dummy-half with three minutes remaining, and Sneyd’s goal made the final score 4-16.
A full report, pictures and analysis will appear in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express, available in the shops and online from Sunday evening at 11.00pm.