Wigan Warriors 4 Castleford Tigers 16 match report: Tigers roll back the years to dump Wigan out of the Challenge Cup and book their place in semi-finals

Tigers inflict a first home Cup defeat on the Warriors for the first time since 1986

DW Stadium

Castleford turned the clock back 28 years in putting holders Wigan out of the Tetley's Challenge Cup in an absorbing quarter-final at the DW Stadium.

The Tigers demonstrated their sparkling Super League form is no fluke by pulling off a thoroughly-deserved 16-4 triumph to inflict on Wigan their first home Challenge Cup defeat since 1986.

Castleford were also the victors that day on their way to lifting the trophy at Wembley for the last time and they now join Leeds and Widnes in the semi-final draw, which will be made after the last quarter-final between Bradford and Warrington on Sunday.

The Tigers were clinging to a six-point lead when former Wigan prop Lee Jewitt burst through a tiring Warriors defence to score his first try for the club on only his third appearance three minutes from the end to seal a famous victory.

Wigan coach Shaun Wane had accused the Yorkshiremen of "disrespect" in the build-up but the Tigers had every right to feel confident after winning their last two matches against the Warriors and they were good value for the hat-trick.

A downpour before kick-off made the handling difficult and no doubt contributed to a scrappy opening in which both teams squandered promising scoring positions by conceding penalties for obstruction, the rule that is seen as the current blight on the game.

Video referee Ben Thaler angered the big travelling contingent by disallowing a try to Castleford full-back Luke Dorn on 28 minutes for the slightest of obstructions and produced ironic cheers when he gave the green light to winger James Clare's touchdown two minutes later.

It was the only try of the first half but the Tigers could have had three or four with steadier finishing and a touch more luck.

The visitors failed to make the most of clear breaks from right winger Kirk Dixon and prop Andy Lynch, while a legal ball steal on Lynch by Wigan second rower John Bateman helped keep the Warriors in the game by half-time despite being totally outplayed.

Spurred by Wane's interval pep talk, the holders visibly attempted to raise the pace of the game in the second half and they looked more threatening.

Teenage wing sensation Joe Burgess, one of nine Wigan players called into the England squad, failed to take Liam Farrell's pass with the line beckoning and skipper Sean O'Loughlin got over the line only to have the ball knocked from his grasp.

Castleford were forced to scramble heroically to keep their line intact and were especially grateful to forward Oliver Holmes for a last-ditch tackle on George Williams after Dan Sarginson came up with a half-break.

O'Loughlin, Michael McIlorum and Anthony Gelling were all held up agonisingly short but the pressure finally told on 62 minutes when Farrell took Williams' pass 15 metres out and spun out of a two-man tackle to touch down for Wigan's 100th try of the season.

However, the holders failed to draw level when Matty Smith's conversion attempt went wide and with that went their last chance to keep their hold on the trophy.

The Tigers had spurned a clear-cut chance when Dorn sliced through the first line of defence but captain Michael Shenton could not take his pass cleanly.

However, they demonstrated slicker finishing 11 minutes from the end to seal a memorable win. Dorn once more linked effectively from deep and centre Jake Webster came up with a superb one-handed flick pass which was taken brilliantly by his winger Kirk Dixon, who went over for all-important try.

Sneyd could not add the goal but Castleford made sure when Jewitt, who joined the club last month from French club Limoux, charged over for his side's third try, with Sneyd kicking his second goal.

Wigan finished a well-beaten side but will not have to wait to get their revenge, with the two teams meeting in Super League at the DW Stadium next Friday.


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