Tigers roar back to stun champions

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CASTLEFORD Tigers staged a magnificent recovery from 22-4 down at half-time to earn a deserved share of the spoils against Super League champions Wigan Warriors at a rain-soaked Probiz Coliseum on Sunday.

Centre Joe Arundel (pictured) bagged two tries and ex-Warriors player Martin Aspinwall also crossed to put the Tigers back in the game before former Wigan full-back Richie Mathers levelled matters with a last minute try.

Kirk Dixon had a chance to win the game for Castleford but his touchline conversion went narrowly wide.

In the end, the Tigers outscored Wigan five tries to four but Dixon managed only one goal while Pat Richards was on target three times for the Warriors.

Wigan, who rested full-back Sam Tomkins and centre George Carmont following their involvement in the inaugural CarPlan International Origin match between England and the Exiles on Friday, dominated the first-half, running in tries from Brett Finch, Josh Charnley, Paul Prescott and Joel Tomkins.

The Tigers struggled in the slippery conditions and, though they crossed through Dean Widders in the opening period, they were 18 points behind at the break.

However, they rallied superbly in the second period to stun the champions.

Castleford, who began with Rangi Chase on the bench after he played a key role for the Exiles in their 16-12 win at Headingley on Friday, fell behind in the ninth minute.

Mathers lost the ball and Finch collected possession to ground the ball for a simple score which Richards converted.

Castleford lacked nothing in spirit but they fell further behind in the 27th minute when a fine move saw the ball go through Paul Deacon, Chris Tuson and Joel Tomkins before Charnley finished the move in the right corner.

Richards could not convert from a difficult angle and Castleford brought on Chase to pep up their attack.

However, Wigan claimed their third try in the 36th minute when Finch’s short pass sent Prescott over from close range and Richards converted.

The Tigers finally got on the scoresheet shortly before the break when Widders got his fingertip to a kick from Danny Orr.

Yet Dixon failed to convert and a fine break from Richards gave Joel Tomkins a try in the right corner on the stroke of half-time.

Richards added his third goal but conditions grew worse after the break and, as the rain continued to fall, the error rate increased.

Richards dropped the ball as he threatened to break clear and Castleford’s Arundel squeezed over in the right corner.

Dixon again faltered with the conversion attempt but the Tigers struck again with 15 minutes remaining when Aspinwall seized on a clever kick from Chase.

Dixon converted to cut Wigan’s lead to eight points and with seven minutes remaining the Tigers struck their fourth try, through Arundel again after more good work from Chase.

Dixon failed to convert and Chase’s fine pass sent Mathers diving over in the left corner in the closing stages - only for Dixon to fail to convert from the touchline.