world : Off-key Wigan go top with battling win at Castleford

world : Off-key Wigan go top with battling win at Castleford
world : Off-key Wigan go top with battling win at Castleford

Friday 14 June 2024 11:30 PM

Nafeza 2 world - Betfred Super League

Castleford (4) 8

Tries: Hoy Goals: Milnes 2

Wigan (4) 10

Tries: Marshall 2 Goals: Smith

Wigan Warriors moved top of Super League and avoided a Challenge Cup final hangover as they survived a thrilling comeback from Castleford Tigers.

Matt Peet's side went into the game off the back of a comfortable win against Warrington at Wembley last weekend, but they were second best to Castleford for much of Friday's encounter.

Liam Marshall went over to sent the visitors ahead but Tigers hit back before half-time courtesy of a long-range run-in from Tex Hoy.

Rowan Milnes kicked a pair of penalties to give the hosts a four-point lead after an hour, but Marshall profited from a deflected offload to pull the teams level before Harry Smith slotted a decisive penalty.

The win lifts Wigan into top spot at the expense of St Helens who take on London Broncos on Sunday, while Castleford slipped to a 10th league defeat of the season.

Soon after he had broken the deadlock with seven minutes gone, Marshall touched down again for Wigan, but it was chalked off for a knock-on.

Hoy's try, just past the half-hour mark, was against the run of play and came from deep in Castleford's own half.

The full-back picked the ball up and showed great speed to exploit a gap in the Wigan defence, dummying Bevan French along the way before crossing.

Castleford raced out of the blocks after the break and edged ahead courtesy of Milnes' penalty, but they were reduced to 12 men soon after.

Cain Robb was sent to the bin for a high tackle on Wigan's Abbas Miski but Cas added to their lead despite the numerical disadvantage, with Milnes on target from long range.

The lead did not last long, however, as Jake Wardle's last-ditch offload was deflected by Milnes into the path of Marshall who reacted quickly to dot down.

Smith missed the conversion attempt with the match still finely poised at 8-8 but he hit the target with a penalty moments later to edge Wigan in front.

It proved decisive and, despite Castleford's best efforts in the closing stages, they could not breach the Wigan backline to register what would have been a well-deserved victory.

Castleford: Hoy; Qareqare, Hall, Wood, I Senior; Milnes, Miller; Griffin, Horne, Watts, Mellor, El-Zakhem, Hill.

Interchanges: Putt, Namo, Robb, English.

Wigan: French; Miski, Eckersley, Wardle, Marshall; Hampshire, Smith; Cooper, O'Neill, Thompson, Walters, Farrell, Ellis.

Interchanges: Byrne, Mago, Leeming, Hill.

Referee: Ben Thaler.

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