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Wigan 26 – 8 Castleford

Last Updated: 12/09/19 10:04pm

 Zak Hardaker scores for Wigan

 Zak Hardaker scores for Wigan

Zak Hardaker scores for Wigan

Castleford missed out on the chance to secure their place in the play-offs as Wigan beat them 26-8 at the DW Stadium.

The Warriors secured second place in the table with the win, but for Cas, their season may now be over.

They started the night level with Hull ahead of the final fixtures and, as a result of this loss, will be going on holiday on Monday if the Black and Whites beat St Helens on Friday.

Castleford’s early tactics appeared to be to take whatever they could and Jamie Ellis kicked a penalty, only for George Williams to respond with a try for Wigan.

Ellis had the opportunity to kick the Tigers in front but he missed with two more penalty attempts.

Two tries in the space of three minutes from Zak Hardaker and Joe Greenwood then essentially sealed the game for the Warriors and Oliver Gildart added another before Jesse Sene-Lefao saw red for disgracefully going in with the knees on Oliver Partington.

Morgan Smithies completed the scoring for the Warriors late on.

The Tigers dominated the opening 15 minutes and took the lead in the ninth with Ellis slotting over a penalty after Wigan failed to clear the ruck.

Jake Trueman was held inches short for Castleford, while Paul McShane and Peter Mata’utia both made useful runs up the middle.

Wigan turned defence into attack in the 16th minute with Williams stepping past Mike McMeeken’s attempted tackle to go over for a 4-2 advantage.

A mistake from Dan Sarginson gave Castleford possession 20 metres from Wigan’s line and Ellis went agonisingly close to putting his side back in front after Trueman’s kick hit the post and bounced back to him, but Hardaker was on hand to clear his lines.

Wigan were finding it difficult to complete their sets with Romain Navarrete twice guilty of coughing up possession.

Greenwood then made a dangerous tackle on McMeeken to allow Ellis the opportunity to level the scores, but he sent his attempt wide.

He had the chance to redeem himself on the half-time hooter, but his penalty struck the post as Wigan led 4-2 at the break.

Two tries in three second-half minutes put Wigan in full control of this contest. Hardaker took advantage of a mistake from Greg Minikin to touch down from his kick. He added the extras for a 10-2 lead.

Moments later Sarginson made a run down the right to put Wigan in a good attacking position, the ball was sent across to the left and Greenwood was on hand to touch down in the corner.

Castleford had opportunities to get back in this game but they could find no way through Wigan’s resolute defence.

Their task was made even harder when Sene-Lefao was sent off for going in with his knees on Partington.

Hardaker extended Wigan’s lead to 18 points with a penalty for messing around at the play-the-ball, while Smithies crashed over, before Cheyse Blair scored for Castleford on the hooter.

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