IF you need a response after losing back-to-back games what better way than inflicting a record-breaking win over champions Wigan Warriors?
Castleford Tigers 54 Wigan Warriors 4Rampant Castleford Tigers did just that tonight as they completed their biggest-ever Super League win over their rivals and returned to top spot after defeats against St Helens and Hull FC.
It was the second time Daryl Powell’s side had beaten Wigan in barely three weeks and arguably their biggest statement yet that they are genuine title contenders.
They were simply too good for the World Club champions with captain Michael Shenton leading the way with a stunning performance and ably supported by the collossal Mike McMeeken and Grant Millington.
Greg Minikin also weighed in with two tries while Luke Gale and Zak Hardaker - who fly out to Sydney with McMeeken tomorrow to link up for England’s Test against Samoa on Saturday - also flourished.
Granted, Wigan lost three players to injury, including stand-off George Williams (knee) who did not return for the second period and must now be a doubt for England duty.
But by the time he left - Anthony Gelling went after 10 minutes and Ben Flower towards the end- Castleford had already inflicted the damage.
Shenton made a searing break to send Adam Milner over after just 52 seconds and they never looked back.
Shenton scored his fifth of the season after great link play with Greg Eden and Gale converted both for a 12-0 lead inside 10 minutes.
Wigan’s Frank-Paul Nuuausala was yellow-carded for dissent to allow Gale to stretch the lead further.
Admittedly, Wigan struck when down to 12 men via Sam Powell in the 28th minute but they would not score again.
They dropped the restart to allow Matt Cook to barge over and then McMeeken surged in after another fine involvement from Shenton.
Gale’s sixth goal made it 26-4 at the break and Morgan Escare was soon sin-binned for a high tackle on Gale.
Minikin got his first in the next set and Gale then got his 10th try of the season before Millington, Jake Webster and Minkin again rounded things off, Paul McShane adding the final goal as Gale was given a breather.
Castleford Tigers: Hardaker; Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden; Roberts, Gale; Millington, McShane, Massey, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Milner. Substitutes: Chase, Moors, Cook, Monaghan.
Wigan Warriors: Escare; Davies, Gelling, Burgess, Marshall; Williams, Powell; Nuuausala, McIlorum, Flower, J Tomkins, Farrell, O’Loughlin. Substitutes: Tautai, Sutton, Isa, Ganson.
Referee: Robert Hicks (Oldham)