Wigan Warriors held on to win a tight, tense game in wet conditions today at the DW Stadium, beating Castleford Tigers 6-4 in front of 10,058 spectators with only one try in the game.
Wigan had an early appeal for a try by Zak Hardaker turned down by the video-referee because of a knock-on and, in a game influenced by the wet conditions, it was Castleford who were the first to score when the ball was stolen from Mike McMeeken and Peter Mata’utia converted the penalty on 23 minutes.
The Tigers put further pressure on Wigan’s line, with Paul McShane and Jake Trueman forcing several goal-line drop-outs. And when Sean O’Loughlin ripped the ball from the hands of Castleford Daniel Smith, Mata’utia added his second penalty goal to give the Tigers a four-point lead at the interval.
Wigan took the lead on 53 minutes when they took advantage of a Tuoyo Egodo dropped ball and Sam Powell forced his way over the line for Zak Hardaker to convert for a 6-4 lead.
Both teams combined strong defence with errors close to their opponents’ line, with a tackle by Paul McShane on Joe Bullock being particularly noteworthy, while George Williams knocked on with the tryline open with six minutes to go.
Cory Aston claimed another goal-line drop-out with a smart grubber over the Wigan line, giving the Tigers one last opportunity, but when Greg Minikin passed the ball into touch, the Tigers had finally run out of chances and Wigan were able to hang on for a welcome victory.
A full report, photos and analysis from this game will feature in Monday’s League Express.