WIGAN MARCH INTO THE SEMI-FINALS
Wigan Warriors marched into the Challenge Cup Semi-Finals after a 26-12 win over Castleford Tigers, on a cool Saturday evening in Wigan.
An inspired Wigan, who reached their first Challenge Cup Semi-Final since they won the competition in 2013, looked in no mood to be given an early exit here. They started the game off strong, opening up the left hand side of Castleford on two occasions early in the game. They didn’t waste the second chance, as Sarginson went over for the opening try after just 6 minutes.
The first half performance of Wigan, was probably up there with their best half of the season so far. There was very little to look back on and think, ‘They could’ve done better there’. Wigan’s attack was clinical in the first half as they scored 4 tries through Sarginson, Sam Tomkins and 2 from Charnley to go into half time 22-0 up.
Wigan’s defensive efforts continued on from last week, as they defended repeats sets on their line to keep the Tigers at nil. Tigers struggled to get anything going in the opening half, as the Wigan defence stood up to everything they threw at them.
It was a very disappointing performance from Castleford, mainly in the opening half. They seemed to be very weak in defence, allowing Wigan to gain field position without really having to do much. Wigan made quite a few breaks through the Tigers defensive line, which gave confidence to the Warriors.
The biggest dissapointment from Castleford’s performance was their attack. While Wigan defended well during the game, Tigers are known for their great attacking prowess, scoring tries with flare. However, they just seemed off their game today, and it ultimately cost them the game.
Key players like Solomona, Gale and Dorn where not offering their usually attacking presence. Solomona seemed a bit off during the game, as if he was carrying a knock. Gale just made the game at the last minute and seemed focused on not get injured.
Castleford improved in the second half, one that seemed to be damage limitations more than anything, They stepped up in their defence and kept Wigan from running away with it. While their defence stepped up, their attack was still quite poor and lacked in quality. However, Tigers did manage to score 2 tries in the second half through Gale and a consolation in the final seconds through Crooks.
THAT MANFRED TRY AND OFFICIALS
While I’m not one for moaning and complaining about the officials in these match reports. I feel after what transpired during this game, it makes sense to do so.
For anyone who hasn’t seen he game and just read this report, I implore you to go and watch the highlights, if it is just for the Manfredi try in the 67th minute of the game. This try and what transpired between the referee and video referee, just shows how outrageous the video refereeing system is.
During the game, there where too many 50/50 calls that went the wrong way, for both sides. The officials in the game of rugby league do get a lot of stick from managers, fans and players alike. However, when you see games like this, you can’t help but understand it. While the Manfredi try had no effect on the final result, it doesn’t take away from the problem at hand.
Referee’s are relying too much on the video referee and it seems if there are 8 tries scored in a game, at least 5 of them will go upstairs to the video referee. While some are sent up for good reason, most of the time you just wish the referee would back himself and make a decision, its too easy to go upstairs.
VIEW OF THE MANAGERS
Wigan coach, Shaun Wane seemed happy with the result and talked about the motivation that drove his team today. Wane said:
“The players were very motivated, last time we played Cas we got accused of being lucky winners and that the referee won us the game, so the players were very motivated.”
“They named the 19 saying Luke Gale wasn’t in it, then Luke Gale was it so that motivated the players even further.”
“We went into that game hell bent on winning it and you could tell that in the first 40 minutes.”
Castleford coach, Daryl Powell was obviously disappointed with the result and especially the first half performance. Powell said:
“Obviously, we are really disappointed, we had a poor start to the game. We where 12-0 down and it released the pressure a bit on Wigan”.
“They started the game off really well, and we just didn’t handle the physicality of it, which was really disappointing. They picked us a apart a little bit, and went 22-0 ahead, it was tough changing room at halftime.”
“Overall, I have no complaints, they defended well and I thought we put them under a bit of pressure in the second half, but we couldn’t come up with enough points.”
IN THE SHEDS
This wasn’t a dirty game, and while there where plenty of penalties during the game, none of which where for serious foul play. I can’t see anything being looked at by the RFL from this game.
Wigan Warriors Ryan Sutton left the field of play in the 53rd minute due to a head injury after an accidental collision with Denny Solomona. He returned later in the game.
Wigan Warriors: (22) 26
Tries: Dan Sarginson, Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley 2, Dom Manfredi
Goals: Matty Smith 3/5
Castleford Tigers: (0) 10
Tries: Luke Gale, Ben Crooks
Goals: Luke Gale 1/2
Wigan Warriors: S Tomkins; Charnley, Sarginson, Gildart, Manfredi; Williams, Smith; Mossop, Powell, Flower, Sutton, Isa, O’Loughlin.
Replacements: J Tomkins, Tautai, Burke, Bretherton.
Castleford Tigers: Dorn; Monaghan, Crooks, Minikin, Solomona; Millington, Gale; Jewitt, McShane, Patrick, Moors, McMeeken, Massey.
Replacements: Milner, Tickle, Holmes, Cook.
Referee: Chris Campbell
Venue: The DW Stadium, Wigan
Date/Time: Saturday 25th June 2016 – 17:30pm GMT