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Wigan fend off 12-man Castleford

18 Mar 22, 12:12PM 0 Comments

Written by Daniel Church

Photo by Wigan Warriors

A close first half contest saw Castleford open the scoring, before tries from Zak Hardaker and Liam Farrell gave the Warriors a 10-2 lead going into the break.

Wigan scored three in quick tries at the start of the second half, as Havard made a start to 2022 with a try, before Jai Field and Liam Farrell added tries of their own. Despite the Tigers scoring three tries in 10 minutes, Wigan piled on pressure with two late penalty goals, sealing the 32-22 win at the DW Stadium.

After having the best of the early minutes, the Wigan defence did extremely well to wrap up star-man Jake Mamo just short of the line. Castleford then did go over the line after 8 minutes but opted for the two points after Wigan were called for offside. O’Brien converting to put the visitors 2-0 ahead.

Wigan came out strong in response, throwing the ball around well with Cade Cust eventually getting the ball out to Zak Hardaker who scored right in the corner. Although he put the extra 2 points wide, he took his points tally for the Wigan Warriors to 500 points.

Wigan seemed to have control for most of the next couple of minutes, with a cross-field kick attempt from Cade Cust to Sam Halsall, resulted in Castleford piling the pressure on and forcing the error. However, it didn’t matter as Jai Field broke through the Tigers line to score under the posts despite the chase from the Tigers full back. Hardaker adding the extras easily.

Now 10-2 down, Castleford had to take some form of control in the game, and did, they forced two back-to-back goal-line dropouts, and Eden got the ball down in the corner, with no extras from O’Brien. However, the fightback attempt took a knock as a late tackle by Fonua resulted him in being sin-binned just before half-time.

A clinical start for the Warriors saw Harvad putting the ball down on his first start in 2022, roars around the DW Stadium as that is a special moment since coming back from a back operation. Hardaker once again converting.

Just minutes later, Field showed his class racing from deep inside his own half racing through the Tigers line to score there was also no mistake from Hardaker adding the extras. This was before Farrell scored his second try of the evening and again Hardaker making no error pushing the Warriors ahead to 28-6.

Castleford sparked a fight back, scoring in the 57th minute after Griffin excellently found space in the Warriors defence although it was sent upstairs for a check. The check from the video referee concluded and the try was awarded, O’Brien adding the extras pulling the game up to 28-12 with around 20 minutes to go.

Much to the horror of the Warriors fans Jake Trueman scored in fabulous fashion with an outstretched arm in the 65th, with O’Brien making no error again, 28-18. However, it didn’t end there, a loose pass to Jake Mamo saw him get the ball down and O’Brien missed the chance to add the extras once making the game 28-22 with 10 minutes to go.

Wigan looked to extend their now narrow lead further forcing the pressure on, with a grubber kick into the in-goal area forcing a goal-line drop-out. From the drop, Isa caught the ball but was caught high by Brad Martin, who referee Chris Kendall had no choice but to award a red card to. Wigan opted for the two points with Zak Hardaker easily putting it over, before another penalty was awarded and the two were taken again and scored.

Wigan Warriors: Jai Field, Zak Hardaker, Kai Pearce-Paul, Sam Halsall, Liam Marshall, Cade Cust, Thomas Leuluai, Morgan Smithies, Sam Powell, Liam Byrne, Liam Farrell, John Batemen, Willie Isa

Interchanges: Patrick Mago, Harry Smith, Oliver Patrington, Ethan Havard

Tries: Hardaker (’11), Farrell (’22,’55), Havard (’45), Field (’48)
Goals: Hardaker (6/7)

Castleford: Gareth O’Brien, Derrell Olpherts, Jake Mamo, Mahe Fonua, Greg Eden, Jake Trueman, Paul McShane, George Griffin, George Lawler, Daniel Smith, Cheyse Blair, Kenny Edwards, Joe Westerman

Interchanges: Suaia Matagi, Brad Martin, Bureta Faraimo, Tyla Hepi

Tries: Eden (’35), Griffin (’57), Trueman (’65), Mamo (68’)
Goals: O’Brien (3/5)

Sin Bin: Fonua (’38)
Red Card: Brad Martin (’73)

Referee: Chris Kendall
Attendance: 10,042

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