Wigan took second place in First Utility Super League as they avenged their early-season mauling by Castleford.
The Tigers hammered Wigan 42-14 at The Jungle back in March and they got their revenge by dominating Cas 28-0 in a game that will not go down as a classic.
Up until the final five minutes of the first half Wigan led 4-0 courtesy of two Matty Smith penalties.
The Warriors had a scrum 10 yards from their own line and Smith opted to put in a kick for his winger Joe Burgess to chase – the youngster showed the Tigers defence a clean pair of heels before sliding over for the opening try. Smith added the extras for a 10-0 lead.
The game improved slightly after the break, although Castleford looked more dangerous with ball in hand than they did in the first half.
Smith extended their lead to 12 with another penalty before his 40-20 put his team in position to clinch the competition points as Michael McIlorum went over from close range.
Further tries from Dan Sarginson and Dom Manfredi completed the scoring for Wigan.
Castleford coach Daryl Powell: said: “The scoreline doesn’t reflect the game, the boys worked extremely hard – there wasn’t too much between the sides. We created more chances but didn’t take them.
“I thought we put a side out there who really pushed Wigan all the way.”
The conditions played a part early on with Wigan’s Dom Crosby knocking on before the Warriors received the ball back as the Tigers also failed to keep hold of the ball. Castleford conceded their second penalty of the game after 13 minutes for a ball steal and Smith took the opportunity to calm things down and kick the Warriors ahead.
Junior Moors was putting himself about in defence and Smith was on the receiving end of a monster shot, while Lee Mossop left his mark on Lee Jewitt.
This game was far from a classic with very few scoring opportunities and Smith extended Wigan’s lead to four points with another penalty after Adam Milner stole the ball from O’Loughlin.
It took until the 35th minute for the game to come to life with any real skill as Smith opted to kick straight from the scrum for Burgess to chase.
The winger did not disappoint as he out-sprinted the Castleford defence and used the conditions to take the ball over the line, Smith converting.
Castleford had their chances to get back into the game after the break with Michael Channing going close in the far corner, but the attack came to an end when Ben Roberts knocked the ball on.
Successive penalties inside the Tigers half allowed Smith to get some kicking practice and he managed to kick one and miss one as the Warriors led 12-0.
Wigan sealed the win in the 64th minute with their second try of the evening as McIlorum took advantage of some poor defending to force his way over.
Smith’s extras from the boot saw them lead 18-0 and there was no way back for the Tigers.
Any chance of a late fightback was thwarted late on, as Wigan broke down the left and Sarginson raced away to score, while Manfredi kept up his try-scoring spree with another late on.
Castleford saw hooker Adam Milner make his 100th Super League appearance but there was little else to celebrate of note.
They head to Hull FC on Saturday to try and secure a place in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals – and reach Wembley for a second successive year.
Wigan coach Shaun Wane said: “I’m very happy, it was good defence against a good team – and in conditions which would suit them more than us. I thought our attitude to defend was good. I never felt threatened.”
Wigan: Hampshire, Manfredi, J. Tomkins, Sarginson, Burgess, Williams, Smith, Crosby, McIlorum, Mossop, Lloyd, Bateman, O’Loughlin. Substitutes: Powell, Tautai, Patrick, Sutton.
Castleford: Tansey, Gibson, Channing, Shenton, Clare, Finn, Gale, Bailey, Milner, Boyle, Mariano, Moors, Jewitt. Substitutes: Webster, Roberts, Millington, Wheeldon.
Referee: B Thaler (RFL).