Castleford Tigers host the Wigan Warriors in Round 2 of the Super 8s, on Friday night at The Mend-A-Hose Jungle. These two have played each other 3 times this season already, two in the League and the other in the Challenge Cup Quarter-Final. Wigan won all three games, 26-12, 33-26 and 26-12. Wigan will be hoping to do the quadruple over Castleford, while the Tigers will be looking to stop the rot.
LAST TIME OUT
Castleford go into this game on the back of a fantastic win away to League Leaders, Hull FC. It was an outstanding opening half that ultimately sealed the win for the Tigers, a half in which they won 20-0. While FC did improve in the second half, it was Castleford’s night. The Tigers got off to a great start, when in the 4th minute of the game, Greg Minkin scored in the corner just ducking under the attempted tackle from Tuimavave. That try was followed up by a try from Wigan loanee, Ryan Hampshire, who found a huge gap left by the lacklustre FC defence. It got even better for Castleford when Luke Gale acted quickest to a loose ball to score the simplest of tries. Things got worse for the hosts, as after seeing Sika Manu’s try disallowed for offside, they conceded on the next attack through Luke Dorn to end a fantastic opening half. Tigers started the second half well, scoring early on through Hampshire. Hull would have another try rightfully disallowed, however this time they backed it up with their opening try through Michaels. Hull entered a good period, and scored another through Washbrook as they attempted an unlikely comeback. Minutes later, Hull where in again through Jamie Shaul, which made it an 8 point game. Dreams of a comeback where dashed in the final moments when Adam Milner walked in to seal a well deserved 30-16 win for Daryl Powell’s men.
Wigan come into this game no the back of a huge 60-12 win over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats. Wigan bounced back from 3 defeats on the spin with a comfortable win in which they scored 11 tries. It was Williams who started off the scoring in the 5th minute after squirming his way through the Wildcats defence. Minutes later, Sam Powell forced his way over from dummy half, and before Wakefield could get themselves sorted, Wigan were in again, this time through Josh Charnley after a grubber kick into the corner eventually found the hands of the England winger. Just before the 30th minute mark, Sam Tomkins got in on the fun as he went over with ease from dummy half to extend Wigan’s lead. Then, out of absolute nowhere, Wakefield scored with their first attack on the Wigan line, it was Joe Arundel who went over following a Jacob Miller assist. Wigan would score two more tries in the final minutes of the first half through Bateman and Gildart to go into half time 30-6 up. It was a similar story in the second half. A further four tries for Wigan through Manfredi, Williams, Sarginson and Sam Tomkins would put them out of sight and just add to current woes of Wakefield. The Wildcats did grab another when Craig Hall scored an interception. However, it was Wigan who had the final say, when the ever impressive John Bateman dribbled the ball down field and collected his own kick to send Matty Smith over for the final try, and seal a fantastic, yet comfortable 60-12 win for the Wigan Warriors.
Both teams impressed last week, and will be going into this game on a high. The return of Liam Farrell for Wigan is massive, He’ll add a new feel to the Wigan line and improve both the attack and defence. The battle down the middle will be an interesting one. Both sides have some big players in the forward lines and both will be looking to get ahold of the ruck speed early doors. Wigan have struggled in recent weeks, last week was a walk in the park for the Warriors, and this week will be a much different task.
Another returnee for Wigan, is Anthony Gelling. Who, was arguably one of the best centres in the league last season, and with his very extravagant style of attack, it will only add some much needed improvement. The battle of between both sets of wings will be a good one. Charley, Gelling, Sarginson and Manfredi up against Hampshire, Crooks, Minikin and Solomona, the latter of the four being the most dangerous for the home side.
Wigan’s best player in recent months has been George Williams. Last years young player of the season, returned from injury and stepped up his game in a huge way. He’s been the shining light in a very gloomy Wigan attack this season. On the other side, there’s the returning Rangi Chase and Luke Gale. A partnership which has huge potential to make the difference in an already good Castleford side. If they start to click, the Tigers attack will take some stopping.
Daryl Powell told the Express: “I look us at the moment and think we’ve got something special brewing.” He added: “It’s just a matter of time for me. “This seven week period we’ve got now is a period that is I think is going to define us as an outstanding team for the future.”
“We are always looking to make a mark on the history of the club and we haven’t quite managed to do that, we haven’t won anything yet. That’s what we’re after. We’re not here to be sitting around looking at the so called big clubs, we’re after trying to be the best team in the competition.”
“I look and see so many positive signs at what we’ve got here and the way we’ve handled the tough situations we’ve been in.”
“Our attack has been consistent across the season. We’re the second highest points scorers, but second highest points conceded as well which has been frustrating.”
Credit to Pontefract and Castleford Express: http://www.pontefractandcastlefordexpress.co.uk/news/castleford-boss-we-ve-got-something-special-brewing-1-8059809
On Friday’s opponents, Shaun Wane said: “Castleford are a very good team, not many teams can go to Hull and win – it’s a tough place to go. I thought Cas were very good that night, they really played at Hull on the advantage line, they played the ball quick and put Hull under a lot of pressure and they were good for the win.
“I like the way they play and having Rangi (Chase) back at the club seems to have lifted everybody.”
On the trip to The Jungle, Wane said: “It’s a great atmosphere there, a great Rugby League town. They know the game really well, the history of the ground is fantastic and it’s a place we like going to.
“We enjoy playing there, I’ve had some tough times there over the years but the win there earlier in the season was impressive and we all enjoyed it and just need to make sure we get that again.”
Credit to Wigan Warriors: https://www.wiganwarriors.com/news/2016-08-10-timely-boost
If both teams play to the kind of form that they hit last week, then this could be one to remember. They both served up a cracker earlier in the season at The Jungle and I’m expecting the same again here.
Wigan Warriors by 8
Castleford Tigers 19-man squad: Rangi Chase, Matt Cook, Ben Crooks, Luke Dorn, Luke Gale, Ryan Hampshire, Oliver Holmes, Lee Jewitt, Will Maher, Frankie Mariano, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Greg Minikin, Junior Moors, Larne Patrick, Andre Saveloy, Denny Solomona, Gadwin Springer.
Wigan Warriors 19-man squad: John Bateman, Josh Charnley, Dom Crosby, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Anthony Gelling, Willie Isa, Dom Manfredi, Lee Mossop, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Powell, Dan Sarginson, Matty Smith, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Lewis Tierney, Sam Tomkins, George Williams.
Referee: Joe Cobb
Venue: The Mend-A-Hose Jungle, Castleford
Date/Time: Friday 12th August 2016 – 20:00pm GMT