Castleford 26-29 Wigan

An hat-trick of tries and a dropped goal from young starlet Sam Tomkins was enough for Wigan to book their play-off place, and leave Castleford clinging onto their position in the top eight.

Brian Noble’s men were in the lead for most of the match, and despite a second-half fightback from the Tigers, managed to scrape home.

It was the home side who looked the most dangerous within the first ten minutes, but a wayward Brent Sherwin pass was fumbled by centre Michael Shenton and Tomkins raced away for the first of his three.

Wigan extended their lead 12 minutes later with Tomkins’ half-back partner Thomas Leuluai finding a gap to score.

A Sherwin cross-field bomb was collected by Kirk Dixon superbly as Terry Matterson’s men opened their account. They looked to have got the momentum when Brett Ferres was put through by Sherwin once more to score two tries in quick succession.

But Tomkins ensured Wigan went in at the break with breathing space, striding through a massive gap to score close to the posts after Castleford had gifted them metres from a penalty.

The second-half continued in a similar fashion, Leuluai taking advantage of some lax defending close to the posts to force his way over and give the visitors a commanding 22-8 lead.

Dean Widders‘ introduction brought some forward momentum for the Tigers and it was the big forward who grabbed the Tigers’ third try of the night.

Another kick was met by Dixon who managed to force the ball back to Widders to go over, before Dixon himself scored again to put the Tigers within touching distance.

A Joe Westerman penalty brought scores level, but Castleford blew their chance of stealing victory when Liam Higgins knocked-on in his own twenty metre zone and Tomkins duly took advantage, sliding through another easy gap.

The cherry was put on the cake with a drop-goal from the youngster, sure to be involved with Tony Smith’s England setup come the end of the season, despite a late superb individual effort from Michael Shenton.


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