10th August 2018, 22:42 | super8
Wigan remain in pole position to claim a home semi-final as they recorded a hard-fought 24-22 win over Castleford in their Super 8s opener.
The Warriors totally outplayed Castleford in the opening 40 minutes and ran in four unopposed tries in front of next season’s head coach Adrian Lam and Shaun Edwards, who will then be in charge from 2020.
It took just five minutes for Wigan to open the scoring with Liam Marshall going over before Gabe Hamlin extended their lead 10 minutes later. Two more tries from Dan Sarginson and Ryan Sutton put their lead out to 20 points at the interval.
📸 Action from the first half here at the DW Stadium where Wigan lead 20-0 pic.twitter.com/nPOc9OhjDE— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) August 10, 2018
It was the Tigers who dominated the second period with Jamie Ellis causing all kinds of problems with his kicking game.
The visitors crossed for four tries thanks to Jake Trueman, James Clare, Paul McShane and Mitch Clark but it was not enough as Sam Tomkins’ late penalty proved to be the difference.
Warriors coach Shaun Wane said: “I was concerned. They are a good team. We just give them too many chances in the second half.
“Bringing Sam (Tomkins) back on changed the game. He did a great job. He had a migraine, so we tried to fix him and get him on a bed. The doctors did a great job getting him back on.”
Opposite number Daryl Powell said: “It was frustrating. The first half was unspeakable in lots of ways. You go in at half time and you don’t really know where to start because everything was wrong.
"We needed to flip it and we did that straight away. Why does it need that (poor start) to get a response?
"The scoreboard looks pretty close, but we were way off there in that first half and it is clearly unacceptable.”