Rugby League

Castleford's Denny Solomona extended his lead at the top of the Super League try chart.

Josh Charnley bags a brace as Wigan win enthralling Castleford contest

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Wigan burst Castleford's bubble with an enthralling 33-26 victory at the Jungle to draw level on points with First Utility Super League leaders Hull.

Warriors coach Shaun Wane described his team's 42-14 defeat in the corresponding match last year as "the worst day of my coaching life" but he was all smiles after they overcame the absence of their injured skipper Sean O'Loughlin to hold off a spirited late fightback from the Tigers and secure a precious victory.

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Castleford's confidence was at a high following their comprehensive back-to-back wins over Leeds and Warrington and w inger Denny Solomona, Super League's leading tryscorer, maintained his prolific form by touching down twice to take his total for the season to 20, but it was not enough to prevent a first defeat in four games.

Wigan made the perfect start, with left winger Josh Charnley taking George Williams' pinpoint pass to cross for the first of his two tries after only three minutes, but play quickly swung from end to end to set the pattern for the match.

A blockbusting run from forward Grant Millington created the position for full-back Luke Dorn to get makeshift stand-off Paul McShane over for an equalising try and skipper Luke Gale edged the Tigers in front with a penalty on 14 minutes.

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Solomona then had a try disallowed and Wigan immediately went upfield and regained the lead through full-back Sam Tomkins, who stole the ball from the grasp of Dorn to touch down Matty Smith's grubber kick.

Solomona made no mistake on 27 minutes when he gathered Gale's superb 30-metre pass to dive over for his 19th try of the season to tie the scores.

Tempers were frayed throughout and Smith nudged his side back in front five minutes before the break with a penalty after a flare-up and there was controversy on the stroke of half-time. Castleford centre Jake Webster was sin-binned for dissent by referee Ben Thaler after arguing, rather too forcefully, that he ought to have awarded the home side a penalty for offside.

It proved a costly yellow card as Wigan made use of the extra man to score a third try within three minutes of the restart.

McShane tracked back to haul down dangerous right winger Dom Manfredi after he counter-attacked from deep but the Wigan man was in the right place to take Oliver Gildart's pass and finish off the next play.

Webster returned to the action just in time to watch Gale kick a penalty but the Tigers fell further behind on 54 minutes when the Warriors moved the ball along the line for Charnley to slide over for his second try.

Smith added his fourth conversion and maintained his 100 per cent record by kicking a second penalty to stretch the visitors' lead to 28-14.

Webster gave his side renewed hope when he charged through a gap in the Wigan defence on the hour and Gale kicked his fourth goal.

That sparked the Tigers into a furious spell of attack, which had the Wigan defence scrambling, but Wane's men were up to the task and they sealed victory when hooker Sam Powell hacked on a loose ball to touch down for his side's fifth try.

Dorn lost the ball going for the line 10 minutes from the end but made amends shortly afterwards by working Solomona over for his second try and, although Gale landed the touchline conversion, Smith finally ended Castleford's hopes with a drop goal.

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Topics:
Rugby League
Wigan Warriors

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