Classy Cas rip Wigan to pieces with a 54-4 hammering down at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Saturday night. The Tigers led from the first minute, and never looked back as they ran in nine tries to go top of Super League.
CLASSY CAS TURN ON THE STYLE
It was a superb night for Castleford, as they tore Wigan apart, from start to finish. It took them less than a minute to get the scoreboard going as they broke down the left-hand side, and eventually, Adam Milner scored from dummy-half. That was quickly followed up by a Michael Shenton try on the back of another wonderful break. Luke Gale would then kick a penalty following a Nuuausala sin-binning, and Castleford led 14-0 after 18-minutes.
Wigan started to grow into the game a little, and were rewarded with a Sam Powell try. Morgan Escaré missed the conversion as they still trailed 14-4. That was to be the last points that the Warriors would score, as Castleford would go on to record 40-unanswered points, in what was a remarkable performance from the now league leaders. Wigan just seemed way off the pace, and never looked in the game from this point onwards.
The Tigers were on the rampage and looking to kill the game off before halftime, which they ultimately did. They went on and scored two more tries through Matt Cook and Mike McMeeken to extend their lead to 26-4. They were good for their lead, and in fact it was surprising that it wasn’t more, as Wigan’s defensive display was the worst I’ve seen this season, it was a real poor evening for the cherry and whites.
WIGAN RIPPED APART
During that first half, Wigan had the ball a few times, and each set, they just never looked interested, or in any way organised as to what they were doing. In the 45th minute, Morgan Escaré was sent to the sin-bin following a poor high shot on Luke Gale. A minute later, Castleford scored, as Greg Minikin went over and Luke Gale missed his first and only conversion of the night as the Tigers led 30-4.
Gale would make up for that missed conversion with a wonderful try following a great run around with Grant Millington. At this stage, the Wigan fans started to get worried as to what the score could end up, and only a minute later, Tigers were in again through Millington. Every bounce of the ball was going the Tigers way, and it was clearly their night, and Wigan could do nothing about it.
Tigers made it four tries in the space of 10-minutes as Jake Webster powered his way over for their eighth of the game, and took the scores to 48-4, with still 20-minutes remaining. The game went stale for about 10-minutes or so, and Wigan started to struggle being low on personnel and in the 71st minute, Greg Minikin went over for his second, as Castleford hit 54 and recorded a stunning 54-4 win, which sent them top of Super League.
TIGERS BACK ON THE MARCH
It had been a bit of a poor Easter period for the Tigers, coming out of it on the back of two straight defeats to St Helens and Hull FC. It was an important game for Castleford this week, as if they were to lose, and make it three defeats on the spin, then that would start to create some concern in the ranks, and all the talk would be on them for the wrong reasons, and pressure would start to pile up.
In a way, the game with Wigan this week, was a chance for them to start fresh, and kick-start another great run of form, and they didn’t half do that tonight. They went out and made a bold statement to the rest of Super League, simply put, they’re not starting to dip just yet. It was an eye-catching performance, like the ones we’d seen at the start of the season. I don’t think I’ve seen them score a bad try, it’s incredible.
Although it was a tough watch as a Wigan fan, as I stood in the stands, watching try after try go against us, I couldn’t help but appreciate their play, more than be angry at Wigan’s inability to cope with it. They’re a remarkable team, and are rightfully named ‘Classy Cas’, as they just blow sides away, and make the game look so easy. If they continue like this, they’ll be a tough team to stop come the business end of the season.
A NIGHT TO FORGET FOR WIGAN
I never thought I’d suffer a worse day then the 62-0 defat away at Wakefield last season, but this topped it for me. What was worse about this one, was that we had such a strong side out, that I thought could’ve matched the Tigers, and given them a good game. But I couldn’t have been more wrong, it was poor from the outset, and it never looked like getting better at any stage of the game.
Wigan went into the game on the back of three wins, against St Helens, Wakefield and Catalans. While they were never great in those games, they weren’t that poor either, so this performance came out of nowhere. It was a real shock to stand there and watch them just look effortless in defence, and so lost for ideas in attack. It was really one to forget for Wigan and their fans.
What makes things worse for Wigan, is that they lost a few more players through injury on the night. With Gelling, Williams and Flower all not finishing the game. Plus, O’Loughlin and Escaré seemed to be rather uncomfortable towards the end. So not only did they get hammered, they could have some more costly injuries. Once again, it was simply one to forget for everyone involved with Wigan Warriors.
Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell:
“I didn’t expect us to get a win against Wigan like that. I thought we started the game so positively, and defensively we were right on the money.
“We’d lost two straight games, if we’d have lost three straight, we’d have been in a real dip. I’m delighted with the win and the way we played.
“Thought we were superb from start to finish. We saw the spaces and executed crisply at the start of the game.”
Wigan Warriors head coach Shaun Wane:
“That wasn’t acceptable, they were too good for us on the day. We lost a few players but Wigan teams shouldn’t get pumped like that.
“There’s no excuses from us on personnel, the players are hurting. They rolled us at the start. A few teams have found Cas can do that this year.
“The fans travelled over in good numbers and we owe them the same commitment, we know that. If we win that game we go top, so we’re not far off.”
IN THE SHEDS
Wigan’s Frank-Paul Nuuausala and Morgan Escaré were both sent to the sin-bin during the game, for back-chat and a high shot respectively.
It was a bad night all round for Wigan as they would go on to lose three players to injury. Anthony Gelling (knee), George Williams (knee) and Ben Flower (Achilles’ tendon) all did not finish the game.
Castleford Tigers: (26) 54
Tries: Milner, Shenton, Cook, McMeeken, Minikin 2, Gale, Millington, Webster
Conversions: Gale 7/8, McShane 1/1
Penalties: Gale 1/1
Wigan Warriors: (4) 4
Conversions: Escaré 0/1
Castleford Tigers: Hardaker, Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden, Roberts, Gale, Millington, McShane, Massey, Jesse Sene-Lefao, McMeeken and Milner.
Interchange: Chase, Moors, Cook and Monaghan
Wigan Warriors: Escaré, Davies, Gelling, Burgess, Marshall, Williams, Powell, Frank Nuuausala, Mcllorum, Flower, J.Tomkins, Farrell and O’Loughlin
Interchange: Tautai, Sutton, Isa and Ganson
Referee: Robert Hicks
Venue: Men-A-Hose jungle
Date/Time: Saturday 29th April 2017 – 19:00pm GMT