Roberts hat-trick puts Wigan clear at the top

Castleford 22 Wigan 36

Wigan went clear again at the top of Super League, largely thanks to the formidable cutting edge given them by Amos Roberts. Roberts started the game on the wing, but it was after moving to full-back following an injury to Cameron Phelps that he did untold damage to Castleford.

His hat-trick of tries took his total for the season to 10 and he was instrumental in two others. "Individual brilliance got us the win today," said his coach, Michael Maguire, who normally likes to emphasise the team ethic he is nurturing at Wigan.

If there was a theme to an often disjointed first half, it was one of extra possession near the opposition line yielding points on a regular basis. After an early exchange of penalties, that process began with an attempted intercept putting Castleford under pressure, from which Roberts scored his first after Sean O'Loughlin's reverse pass.

Roberts the created a try for Phelps, but the Tigers came right back into the game with two quick tries from Michael Shenton. That briefly gave them the lead, but they were soon exposed again by Sam Tomkins' kick and Pat Richards' catch and touch-down.

Roberts' devastating run from deep set up Joel Tomkins to stretch Wigan's lead once more, before he claimed his own second. Roberts then formed the link for the elder Tomkins brother's second and,although Castleford managed a score through Michael Wainwright, Roberts swept in for his his hat-trick. Michael Cooper pulled one back for the home team but it was no more than a consolation. The Tigers have now won just once at home since July at what used to be regarded as their stronghold.

Castleford: McGoldrick; Thompson, Shenton, Dixon, Wainwright; Westerman, Chase; Higgins, Hudson, Huby, Snitch, Jones, Clayton. Subs used: Sargent, Cooper, Massey, Sherwin.

Wigan: Phelps; Roberts, Gleeson, Carmont, Richards; S Tomkins, Leuluai; Coley, Riddell, Fielden, Bailey, J Tomkins, O'Loughlin. Subs used: Prescott, O'Carroll, Mossop, Tuson.

Referee: J Child (Dewsbury).

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