Hodgson try lifts Wigan into third place

Wigan 24

Castleford 10
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The Independent Online

Wigan jumped above Thursday's victors Hull and back into third place in Super League, just one point behind Bradford, but only after overcoming a terrific effort from a weakened Castleford at the JJB Stadium last night.

It took David Hodgson's outstanding try with 14 minutes remaining of a tight encounter to break Castleford's resistance and seal Wigan's victory. Despite lacking eight injured squad players and losing the influential forward Michael Smith during the first half, the Tigers deservedly led 10-8 lead at the interval.

Wigan, whose excellent run was extended to seven wins in their last eight games, held the early advantage with two penalties from their captain, Andrew Farrell, but lacked their usual fluency in attack.

Before he briefly quit the action with a knee injury, Ryan Hudson's skill around the ruck created a close-range try for the Tigers' captain, Danny Orr. Wigan responded with a Martin Aspinwall try midway through the first half but it followed a mistake by Cas's Andy McNally. Cas deservedly regained the lead when their Australian centre, Paul Mellor, leapt high to take Orr's perfectly judged kick to the right five minutes before half-time.

Wigan found the going no easier in the second half and relied on the boot of Farrell to put them back in front.

Wigan: Briscoe; Carney, Aspinwall, Johnson, Hodgson; O'Loughlin, Lam; C Smith, Newton, O'Connor, Cassidy, Graham, Farrell. Subtitutes used: Sculthorpe, Pongia, Robinson, Hock.

Castleford: Rogers; Pryce, Maloney, Mellor, McNally; Orr, Healey; M Smith, Hudson, Sykes, Johnson, Fritz, Harland. Substitutes used: Blakeway, Huby, Hepworth, Lynch.

Referee: R Laughton (Barnsley)