Wigan 22-28 Castleford

Castleford inflicted further misery on Wigan on Friday night, staving off a fierce comeback to record a gutsy 28-22 win at the JJB Stadium.nnThe defeat compounds Brain Noble’s Warriors to their third loss from three this season and their worst start to a season in 25 years.nnMeanwhile, Terry Matterson’s Tigers record their first win of Super League XIV.nn12 points from Kirk Dixon capped an excellent night for the West Yorkshire outfit, while pressure is sure to mount further on under-fire Wigan boss Brian Noble.nnThree tries – two from Castleford and one Wigan – were disallowed by referee Steve Ganson within the first ten minutes, two for alleged forward passes in the build-up and one for an alleged offence by Richard Owen in the run-up.nnThe visitors finally got off the mark on 15 minutes after Wigan were caught crossing in their on half. Kirk Dixon promptly kicked the penalty from just in front of the sticks to give his side a 2-0 lead.nnWigan’s problems mounted minutes later when influential forard Gareth Hock limped off after colliding awkwardly in a tackle. Straight after Castleford doubled their advantage through another penalty, this time after Wigan were caught offside.nnAfter a couple of sporadic half-breaks from both teams and a few handling errors, the home side finally pulled level on 27 minutes.nnThe evergreen Thomas Leuluai, who brilliantly jinked his way through two tackles to crash over behind the sticks. New Aussie hooker Mark Riddell added the extras to give Wigan a 6-4 lead.nnThe lead lasted a mere six minutes, though, after loose forward Joe Westerman latched onto a neat James Evans grubber kick. Dixon kicked eased over the conversion to restore Castleford’s four-poiint lead.nnWithin minutes the visitors had notched up another six points after a quickfire break from Michael Shenton set up another Brett Ferres for the score. nnDixon added the simple conversion before his side saw out the next to minutes to leave the hosts with a ten-point half-time deficit, leaving Brian Noble and his charges with the sound of boos from the home crowd.nnWithin four minutes of the restart winger Karl Pryce grabbed a try on his first game back after two great sidesteps from Amos Roberts. The score remained at 16-10, though, after Riddell’s conversion attempt sailed just wide.nnAs soon as the home fans thought their side were back in it, Dixon scored a try of his own, before narrowly missing his own conversion. A high hanging kick wasn’t dealt with by the Wigan defence, and it was Dixon who dived onto the clever tap back to restore the ten-point cushion.nnTen points immediately became fourteen when Ferres fended off weak tackling to stretch over in the corner. Again, Dixon’s conversion attempt went just side, leaving Castleford 24-10 ahead.nnOn 58 minutes, Darrell Goulding pulled it back to 24-14 try after quick passing along the line opened up space on the right wing. The conversion just missed leaving the visitors ten points in front.nnWithin five minutes Joel Tomkins had cut the Castleford lead to six points following more quick lateral passing. He finished well in the corner, but Riddell’s conversion again sailed wide to leave the gap at six points.nnShortly after, young Shaun Ainscough‘s half-break on the left wing brought Wigan to just two points of the visitors. He skipped one tackle and, instead of offloading inside to George Carmont, he brilliantly kept his foot in touch on the outside to streak away for the try.nnThe lack of Pat Richards in the goal-kicking department was proven once more, though, as Amos Roberts‘ conversion again failed to add any extras.nnAnd it was Wigan’s goal-kicking problems that proved their downfall at the end of the game, as Castleford bravely held on to their two-point advantage to get their engage Super League XIV campaign off the mark, Michael Shenton grabbing the killer score with seconds to go.nnWigan – 22nnT: Leuluai (27); Pryce (44); Goulding (58); Tomkins (63); Ainscough (66)nG: Riddell (28)nnCastleford – 28nnT: Westerman (33); Ferres (37, 50); Dixon (47); Tomkins (63); Shenton (80)nG: Dixon (15, 17, 34, 38)nnHT: 6-16nnRef: S Ganson nnAtt: 12,079

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