Resounding Castleford comeback beats Wigan

A resounding second half comeback saw Castleford beat Wigan 38-28 at the Jungle.

The Tigers trailed 24-8 at half time having spend punctured on multiple occasions down their right hand side, but they fought their way back by the hour mark to lead.

But the Warriors hit back to take the lead through Joe Burgess on 64 minutes, only for Castleford to strike late through Tuoyo Egodo and Peter Mata’utia to win the game.

Both sides went in to the game with their fair share of injuries, and Wigan went on to lose half-back Jarrod Sammut to a knock midway through the first half.

After a period of feeling each other out, it was only following a poor kick by Jake Trueman that went out on the full that Wigan started to force the issue.

Their first try came down the Castleford right, which proved a problem for the Tigers throughout the first half, Joe Greenwood carrying a couple of tacklers over the line and then halting with perhaps the thought of being dragged over the dead ball line, and then dropping to score a try with the defence unawares.

Outside Greenwood was Oliver Gildart, who soon started to reek havoc against a makeshift Castleford right side, he weaved outside opposite number Egodo and then cut inside for the Warriors’ second try.

No doubt buoyed by finding such a big chink in the Castleford armour, they shifted the ball in that direction straight from receiving the kick-off and Gildart pierced the line once more, finding a lovely short pass to the supporting George Williams for back-to-back scores.

Even with the usually reliable Zak Hardaker missing the target under the pressure of the boo-boys in the home crowd, Wigan led 18-0 inside as many minutes.

It got worse for the hosts four minutes later when once again Wigan went over on their left hand side, this time a long pass left by Williams finding Gildart who passed on for Joe Burgess in the corner.

To their credit, Castleford dug in and after forcing a repeat set, Oliver Holmes managed to find the tryline under pressure from four defenders to get the hosts on the board.

It was only some excellent goal line Wigan defence, denying both Egodo and Trueman, that kept Castleford out, and the Warriors would respond with a further score of their own, Gildart crossing for his second try, powering over from dummy half against an off-balance Adam Milner.

Castleford did at least give their fans something to cheer going in to half time, a lovely move off the back of a quick play the ball from Nathan Massey saw Calum Turner race on to a beautiful delayed pop up ball by Peter Matau’tia, standing in at half-back, for 24-8 at half time.

Wigan were disrupted early in the second half by a head knock to Greenwood, suffered in a tackle by his own team-mate Williams, and they collapsed.

Mitch Clark, Matt Cook and Adam Milner all crossed from short range in a devastating six minute spell that turned the game on its head.

Mata’utia stepped up to convert all three tries, and all of a sudden they led 26-24.

His unlikely success with the boot contrasted to Hardaker, who managed just two successful kicks from six on the night.

It looked like their comeback might be in vain, just as it was against Leeds last week, but Egodo bounced back from his first half struggles to score the crucial try down the blind side.

Castleford: Turner, Clare, Egodo, Shenton, Eden, Mata’utia, Trueman, Watts, Milner, Millington, Holmes, Sene-Lefao, Massey. Subs: Cook, Clark, Maher, O’Neill.

Wigan: Hardaker, Manfredi, Sarginson, Gildart, Burgess, Williams, Sammut, Bullock, Leuluai, Navarrete, Isa, Greenwood, Partington. Subs: Byrne, Tautau, Smithies, Shorrocks.