Castleford Tigers agonisingly missed out on a famous comeback victory over Wigan Warriors when a late try condemned them to a 28-22 defeat in a thrilling Super League game at the Wish Communications Stadium.
The Tigers hit back from 22-4 down to level at 22-22 with seven minutes left only to see a Rangi Chase drop goal attempt hit the post and Wigan to then be given a penalty for offside from which they made their way downfield to come up with their winning score.
To rub salt into Castleford’s wound it was a player they once had on loan who scored the winning try with Chris Tuson going over in the 79th minute.
Tuson had earlier scored another try and with Ben Flower, Pat Richards and Michael McIlorum also crossing and Richards kicking three conversions the Warriors seemed set for a comfortable victory at 22-4 four minutes into the second half.
Castleford’s only first half points came from a long range effort finished by Jake Webster, although they had missed several chances and were unlucky to be so far behind at this stage. But they put in a storming finish that really had their opponents rocked.
The comeback started when Webster’s initial break led to a try and goal for Jamie Ellis on 53 minutes. Winger Justin Carney then powerfully finished another great move down the left and Ellis goaled.
It was level on 73 minutes when Carney again finished strongly in the corner and Ellis kicked a superb pressure touchline conversion.
But after Chase’s drop goal unluckily hit the post the Tigers were finally undone as Tuson ran onto Sean O’Loughlin’s pass to come up with the winning try, leaving too little time for Cas to make another comeback.
Scorers - Castleford: Tries Webster, Carney 2, Ellis; goals Ellis 3. Wigan: Tries Flower, Richards, Tuson 2, McIlorum; goals Richards 4.
Castleford: Tansey; Carney, Shenton, Webster, Dixon; Chase, Ellis; Emmitt, Clark, Mason, Gilmour, Hauraki, Millington. Subs: Huby, Massey, Holmes, Thompson.
Wigan: Tomkins; Charnley, Hughes, Thornley, Richards; Green, Smith; Flower, McIlorum, Crosby, Tuson, Farrell, O’Loughlin. Subs: Dudson, Taylor, Powell, Burke.
Referee: Thierry Alibert.