Wigan Warriors picked up a 12th win in 13 games as they stormed to a 26-8 victory over Castleford.
Young forwards Ollie Partington, Liam Byrne and Morgan Smithies ran the show as the stock of Wigan’s young forwards rose higher as they dominated Cas’ experienced pack, securing second place in the process.
It was a poor second-half showing from Castleford, who must now rely on St Helens beating Hull on Friday to be in the play-offs.
Daryl Powell’s side had matched Wigan in the first half, but had lacked skill and execution despite having plenty of territory.
They trailed 4-2 at half-time, with Jamie Ellis’ early penalty goal being cancelled out by George Williams’ try.
But the second 40 was one-way traffic. Wigan proved too quick and too powerful, and tries through former Tiger Oliver Gildart, Joe Greenwood, Zak Hardaker and Smithies secured a comfortable win for Adrian Lam’s side, while Castleford had Jesse Sene-Lefao sent off.
Warriors: Hardaker, French, Sarginson, Gildart, Burgess, Tomkins, Leuluai, Clubb, Powell, Partington, Isa, Greenwood, Smithies. Subs: Flower, O’Loughlin, Navarrete, Byrne.
Tigers: Rankin, Clare, Mata’utia, Blair, Minikin, Trueman, Ellis, Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey. Subs: Cook, Holmes, Clarkson, Smith.