Castleford beat Cup holders Wigan

Castleford knocked holders Wigan out of this season’s Challenge Cup with a 16-4 away quarter-final win on Saturday.


It was the first time since Castleford beat the Warriors en route to lifting the rugby league trophy in 1986 that Wigan had suffered a home Challenge Cup defeat.

Castleford, currently third in the Super League with 11 victories in 15 matches, were worthy winners and now join Leeds and Widnes in a last four draw that will be completed by Sunday’s quarter-final between Bradford and Warrington.

The Tigers were six points in front late on when former Wigan prop Lee Jewitt went over from close range to score the match-clinching try.

Castleford, who’d won their past two matches against Wigan, were made to work hard for this success on a pitch freshened by rain.

And they were also denied a 28th minute try when Luke Dorn crossed only for video referee Ben Thaler to disallow the score under league’s controversial obstruction rule even though any infringement seemed minimal at best.

Two minutes later Castleford winger James Clare went over for the only try of the first half.

The Yorkshire side might have had a few others in the opening 40 minutes with a touch more composure.

Wigan came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half and only some desperate Castleford defence kept them at bay.

Teenage flyer Joe Burgess failed to grab Liam Farrell’s pass in sight of the line, while Wigan captain Sean O’Loughlin did get over only to have the ball knocked from his grasp.

Castleford were also indebted to Oliver Holmes for a last-ditch tackle on George Williams and several times the Tigers held up Wigan players in sight of a try.

The holders’ pressure eventually led to a 62nd minute try by Farrell after he took a pass from Williams and spun out of a tackle.

But Matty Smith missed a conversion that would have drawn Wigan level at 6-6.

And that was the cue for Castleford to seize the match, with winger Kirk Dixon showing great skill to hold a one-handed catch, when the ball was almost behind him, from Jake Webster’s flicked pass.