Castleford host Wigan Warriors on Thursday night in what is set up to be a great game of rugby league. Castelford come into this game on the back of two huge wins in the league over Leeds Rhinos and Warrington Wolves. Wigan come into this game on the back of 1 win in the last 3 league games.
LAST TIME OUT
Castelford come into this game on the back of a superb 34-14 win, over then table toppers, Warrington Wolves. Tigers started the game really poor, making too many unforced errors and having some poor discipline to go with it. Warrington where dominant early on, running in 3 unanswered tries from Ratchford, Gidley and Currie, but some poor goal kicking only put them into a 14-0 lead. As half time neared, there seemed to be no hope for Castleford as they struggled to get anything going. However, a sensational team try that was finished off by Luke Dorn seemed to spark some life in the Tigers. That try was quickly followed by another from Grant Millington. All of a sudden, Castelford went into half time only 2 points behind at 14-12. The second half performance from the Tigers was one of the best I’ve seen from any side this season, they where outstanding. Winning the second half 22-0, through tries from McMeeken, Dorn and a brace from Solomona. After being 14-0 down, Castelford hit back with 34 unanswered points to stun the Wolves.
Wigan Warriors come into this game after a comfortable 40-8 win over the struggling Leeds Rhinos. The game started off rather slow and both sides seemed nervy, as they went into his game in poor form. Leeds took the lead through a Watkins try, but that was to be their last for a while. A first try in Wigan colours, followed by his second from Willie Isa, gave Wigan a 12-4 lead going into half time. Wigan came out in the second half and turned on the style, scoring 3 tries in 10 minutes through Williams, Manfredi and Flower, which seemed to put the match to bed early on as Leeds crumbled. After seeing fullback Zak Hardaker sent to the sin bin following a professional foul, Leeds got a consolation through Mitch Achurch, but that was all it was going to be, a consolation. The game seemed to fizzle out late on, however Wigan where able to score two more tries in the final 8 minutes through Gildart and Sarginson to take the scoreline to a healthy looking 40-8.
This season, Denny Solomona has been Castelford’s best player and go to guy. He’s the leagues top scorer with 18 tries and you feel Wigan will be looking to keep him out of the game in every aspect. On the other side, the returning Manfredi reminded us last week of what he can do.
The kicking game will be the key, as both Gale, who has the most try assists in the league with 23 and Smith will be looking to find their wingers on every chance, as both Solomona and Manfredi are great players in the air.
The backs of both sides will be the difference in this game. Luke Dorn has scored 5 tries in his last 2 games since coming back from injury and he is be the best supporting fullback in super league. Wigan will have to watch him closely on Thursday as he will just pop up from anywhere to receive the ball and change the game in an instant. Sam Tomkins provides a different dynamic within the Wigan side, especially for Smith and Williams. Both will be feeling more confident on the ball knowing he is there behind them to help them out.
This should be a great game of rugby with both sides coming into it on the back of great, confidence boosting wins.
You sensed that Wigan’s attacking prowess is slowly starting to improve, with the returns of Sam Tomkins and Williams. Last week, they looked more dangerous on the ball and began to threaten the opponents line with a bit more style. Castleford are one of the best teams to watch in the league. But they are also very inconsistent, especially at home.
Wigan have had some great away wins already this season, and I fancy another one here.
Wigan Warriors by 8.
Castelford Tigers 19-man Squad: Matt Crook, Ben Crooks, Luke Dorn, Paddy Flynn, Luke Gale, Ryan Hampshire, Lee Jewitt, Will Maher, Mike McMeeken, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Junior Moors, Joel Monaghan, Larne Patrick, Gladwin Springer, Denny Solomona, Danny Tickle, Jake Webster.
Wigan Warriors 19-man Squad: John Bateman, Joe Bretherton, Greg Burke, Josh Charnley, Dom Crosby, Ben Flower, Oliver Gildart, Willie Isa, Dom Manfredi, Lee Mossop, Sam Powell, Dan Sarginson, Matty Smith, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Lewis Tierney, Joel Tomkins, Sam Tomkins, George Williams.
Referee: Ben Thaler
Venue: Mend-A-Hose Jungle, Castelford
Date/Time: Thursday 26th May – 20:00pm GMT