Match Report: Castleford 36 Wigan 22
Posted by Bilko on August 15 2016 - 14:54

Extended News

Castleford Tigers v Wigan Warriors - First Utility Super League - Super 8s Round 2
Friday 12th August 2016. Kick Off 8:00pm at Wheldon Road.

Match Report

I don't think it's a secret that Wigan's attack has been struggling this year but it is not in that regard that I thought Wigan lost this particular match. It was poor defence and mentality where I thought Wigan failed this time.

You only had to read Daryl Powell's pre match comments to know that Castleford were going to be right up for this game, particularly after talking about Wigan's "arrogance".

They came up with a plan to upset and disrupt and to me it worked a treat. Wigan seemed rattled and this was no more highlighted by captain for the night Sam Tomkins.

He seemed to be more in a constant battle with the referee rather than with the opposition. Of course he is entitled to question decisions as captain but if every single decision is being questioned, which is how it seemed to me, then it totally wastes the effect?

I mean I cannot recall Sean O’Loughlin having an argument with a referee in all the years he’s been captain. Maybe the referee was a fault as well but Sam pushing away Luke Dorn when he was talking to Joe Cobb at one point was not great regardless of what was being said. To me it was a white flag towards Castleford players that they had got under his skin. That is how it came across to me anyway.

I was always confident Wigan had tries in them and thought we were battling reasonable well in the pack but a big difference was at hooker. Paul McShane coming off the bench for Cas in that position was a boost that Wigan couldn't match.

I really think Sam Powell has done an admirable job filling in for Micky McIlorum this year but now the quality of opposition is rising the square pegs, round holes nature of that position is being found out. Not his fault. I firmly believe he needs help but we don't seem to have the option to do so. Jake Shorrocks has been tested but with little conviction and that's highlighted by the fact he wasn't used against Hull and now in this game as well. You also can't afford a wasted sub so perhaps they need to bite the bullet and give him a go. Results are getting so poor that perhaps we have nothing to lose?

The very early loss of Dom Manfredi to concussion (we now know he damaged an ACL as well) was a blow, no doubt, about that particularly with Anthony Gelling only just returning. Dom was hit hard by Rangi Chase but I didn't think it was a foul live and I've seen nothing since to change my mind on that.

That meant Bateman went to centre and although I like him as an option in that position I think we are not performing well enough now to get away with that. We have to utilise his undoutbed quality to the max and him at centre wasted his involvement in the game. Easy in hindsight but Isa would have been a better option surely?

Those that listen to me on Wish FM commentaries will know I constantly worry about Gelling's defence. For me it is of a poor standard for a player who has been with the club five years now.

He so often dives out of the defence line and misses the tackle and that causes havoc behind him. Here he was at fault for a few tries I thought. Yes, I've sympathy that he is just returning and that Denny Solomona is a handful for many but I'm not basing my opinion on this one performance.

It wasn't helped either that the first try came a minute after the forced re-shuffle but Gelling was stood up and burned off quickly on his wing from 80 metres out for Denny Solomona to score the first try. Then for the second Gelling in the build up made a collision on Greg Minkikin but got shrugged off far too easily. Seconds later, Minikin was playing the ball under the posts and Paul McShane darted over from dummy half.

Gelling wasn't alone at fault on that McShane try either. It was soft up the middle with him scoring far too easily against Taulima Tautai. Luke Gale had missed the first conversion but kicked a penalty and his conversion of the second made it 12-0 to Cas after half an hour.

Wigan responded very quickly with nice foot work by Matty Smith setting up Sam Powell, although him receiving the ball was a tad fortunate. Smith converted for 12-6 and Wigan would have been happy with that at half time.

Cas though increased their lead early second half and again Gelling was questionable for me. Nice hands by Cas but Gelling's position is not up with the defensive line. He hangs back and the home side expose that to get Solomona in the corner. Gale converted for 18-6. Wigan again responded well to with Ben Flower bringing it back to 18-12 just three minutes later with Smith converting again.

But Solomona got Cas back up by 12 with his hat-trick try after he plucked the ball out the air ahead of another forlorn defensive effort by Gelling. Gale continued hitting great conversions for 24-12.

Wigan were at their ill-disciplined worst at this point and tempers boiled over so much that just after the hour both Dom Crosby and Oliver Holmes were sin binned. Wigan were getting a scrum off memory but instead Cas got a penalty that was kicked for 26-12.

Time was ticking and you couldn't see a comeback but as so often recently, Wigan rallied. Bateman was the key because he started getting involved up the middle rather than being out wide. He scored a try himself before setting up a second for Lee Mossop and within two minutes 26-12 had become 26-22.

I can quote a Cas fan in the gents after who said "with five minutes to go they had us". Wigan were all over Cas like a rash now BUT we looked clueless as to how to execute the win. Two sets in particular were ended poorly. One saw George Williams totally hesitate in what to do and another saw a kick go in on the third tackle. Awful.

That bought Castleford some valuable clock time and they sealed the game with two tries in the last two minutes. The one scored first by Wigan loanee Ryan Hampshire was questionably bounced but to be fair it would be straw clutching to complain to much about that. Oliver Holmes added another in stoppage time to complete a deserved 36-22 win for the home side.

Wigan now have another drawing board to contend with. Four defeats in five is a worrying trend and with a derby to come it is immense pressure that we now have to deal with. But can we?


- Castleford Position Wigan 1
1 Luke Dorn Full Back Sam Tomkins 1
18 Ryan Hampshire

Right Wing

Dom Manfredi 5
19 Ben Crooks Centre Anthony Gelling 3
24 Greg Minikin Centre Dan Sarginson 4
5 Denny Solomona Left Wing Josh Charnley 2
35 Rangi Chase Stand Off George Williams 6
7 Luke Gale Scrum Half Matty Smith 7
22 Gadwin Springer Prop Dom Crosby 8
9 Adam Milner Hooker Sam Powell 16

Larne Patrick


Ben Flower

11 Oliver Holmes 2nd Row John Bateman 14
36 Andre Savelio 2nd Row Willie Isa 25

Junior Moors


Ryan Sutton

10 Grant Millington Substitute Liam Farrell 12
14 Lee Jewitt Substitute Lee Mossop 17
15 Paul McShane Substitute Taulima Tautai 19
16 Matt Cook Substitute Frank-Paul Nuuausala 24
- Daryl Powell Coach Shaun Wane -

Score Sheet

Castleford Tigers 36


Wigan Warriors 22

Tries (6):
Denny Solomona 3
Paul McShane
Ryan Hampshire
Oliver Holmes


Tries (11):
Sam Powell
Ben Flower
John Bateman
Lee Mossop

Luke Gale 6/8
--- Goals:
Matty Smith 3/4

Scoring and Incident Pattern

8th Minute Castleford 04 Wigan 00

Try: Denny Solomona

Castleford 04 Wigan 00 Missed Conv: Luke Gale (0/1)
11th Minute Castleford 06 Wigan 00

Penalty Goal: Luke Gale (1/2)

28th Minute Castleford 10 Wigan 00

Try: Paul McShane

Castleford 12 Wigan 00 Conversion: Luke Gale (2/3)
32nd Minute Castleford 12 Wigan 04

Try: Sam Powell

Castleford 12 Wigan 06 Conversion: Matty Smith (1/1)
Half Time Castleford Tigers 12 Wigan Warriors 06
47th Minute Castleford 16 Wigan 06

Try: Denny Solomona (2)

Castleford 18 Wigan 06 Conversion: Luke Gale (3/4)
51st Minute Castleford 18 Wigan 10

Try: Ben Flower

Castleford 18 Wigan 12 Conversion: Matty Smith (2/2)
58th Minute Castleford 22 Wigan 12

Try: Denny Solomona (Hat-Trick)

Castleford 24 Wigan 12 Conversion: Luke Gale (4/5)
61st Minute Wigan Sin Bin

Dom Crosby (Incident)

Castleford Sin Bin

Oliver Holmes (Incident)

62nd Minute Castleford 26 Wigan 12

Penalty Goal: Luke Gale (5/6)

65th Minute Castleford 26 Wigan 16

Try: John Bateman

Castleford 26 Wigan 16 Missed Conv: Matty Smith (2/3)
67th Minute Castleford 26 Wigan 20

Try: Lee Mossop

Castleford 26 Wigan 22 Conversion: Matty Smith (3/4)
79th Minute Castleford 30 Wigan 22

Try: Ryan Hampshire

Castleford 32 Wigan 22 Conversion: Luke Gale (6/7)
80th Minute Castleford 36 Wigan 22

Try: Oliver Holmes

Castleford 36 Wigan 22 Missed Conv: Luke Gale (6/8)
Full Time Castleford Tigers 36 Wigan Warriors 22


Joe Cobb

Penalties Conceded

Castleford 9 Wigan 11

Match Attendance



Overcast but Dry.