Thursday, 7 March 2013

Castleford Tigers v Wigan Warriors

After a thrilling 80 minutes at the Wish Communications stadium, a last minute score handed one side a crucial win thanks to a close range try but more on that later.

Wigan started the better as they went in for a try in the 10th minute as Green's piercing pass found Flower who dived under a heap of Cas defenders to put the Warriors on the score board.

Wigan added to their lead in the 25th minute as Richards scored after Green supplied Thornley and Wigan's overlap gave an advantage for the winger to go over in an easy finish.

Carney seemed to be the best of a bad start for Cas but failed to register their first try after a nice run opened Wigan up but he failed to utilise his running support and Charnley quashed the threat.

Rangi Chase kicked towards the post in the next set but Farrell collected and from their set Wigan increased the lead with Green again being the provider this time for with a kick with Tuson took well and went in for the try and Wigan led 16-0.

Cas pushed to get back into the game and finally hit the score board three minutes before the break as Carney found some space and supplied Webster who took on Charnley in a risk but managed to just crash over the line to give them hope.

The hope seemed to falter almost instantly in the second half as McIlorum mastered his way over the line to put Wigan 22-4 up and clear but this exact score happened in 2011 and that game ended 22-22 so the game wasn't over yet.

Cas notched their second score as a break from Tansey saw him feed Webster who flew clear only for Farrell to amazingly catch him but Webster managed to offload to Ellis who scored under the post and put Cas in with a fighting chance.

Ex-Warrior Gilmour broke through the Wigan line and passed to Carney who went over for his second try and with Ellis' conversion they were one score away from Wigan.

Cas pushed to level the score and Wigan dealt with consecutive sets on their own defensive live but a high tackle on Carney on the final tackle gave Dixon a chance but when the play failed Carney collected and dived in for his hat-trick and Ellis's resulting conversion meant the scores were level and set up a nail-biting finish.

Cas came close to leading after Chase attempted a drop goal but it bounced off the post and allowed Wigan the chance to try for their own one pointer with Smith but as he went to kick he was charged down and Wigan needed another way to retake the lead.

Two minutes from the end, Wigan found the outlet in which to hit the front as O'Loughlin fired an expert pass to Tuson to went in from close range to a raucous cheer form the Wigan fans but left Cas devastated that their comeback was all in vain and Richards' conversion on the hooter saw a 28-22 win for Wigan and left my prediction of a close score to be right but closer than my 18 point hopes.