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Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Sunday, 12 June 2011 17:28 UK

Castleford 22-22 Wigan

Castleford (4) 22
Tries: Arundel 2, Widders, Aspinwall Goals: Dixon
Wigan (22) 22
Tries: Finch, Charnley, Prescott, J Tomkins Goals: Richards 3

Super League

Super League champions Wigan let slip a big half-time lead as they were held to a 22-22 draw at Castleford.

Wigan led 22-4 at the interval with tries from Brett Finch, Josh Charnley, Paul Prescott and Joel Tomkins.

But, having scored through Dean Widders just before the break, Cas roared back with four more in the final 21 minutes.

Joe Arundel (2), Martin Aspinwall and Richie Mathers, in the last minute, turned it round, but Cas crucially managed just one kick out of five.

Kirk Dixon missed four conversions that could have given his side maximum points.

Castleford half-back Rangi Chase was on the bench, just two days after the Exiles' win over England at Headingley.

But Wigan, who rested Sam Tomkins and Exiles matchwinner George Carmont, had five men on duty who did play on Friday night - Joel Tomkins, Pat Richards, Thomas Leuluai, Michael McIlorum and skipper Sean O'Loughlin. And it caught up with them late on.

After struggling in the slippery conditions, Cas looked out of it at half-time. But, once mercurial stand-off Rangi Chase had come off the bench to orchestrate the fightback, Terry Matterson's side rallied strongly after the break.

Mathers had endured a torrid first half, costing his side at least one try and making a number of handling errors.

But, having been replaced, he came back on in the second period and was on hand to collect Chase's pass and dive over in the left corner with just seconds remaining for his side's fifth try.

Wigan, who let slip a similar lead on the first day of the season to draw 16-16 against Helens, have now shared the spoils three times this season.

They also drew 22-22 at Headingley against Leeds on 1 April, when they themselves came from behind in the dying minutes.


Castleford coach Terry Matterson:

"I didn't think we were that poor in the first half and I thought the scoreline was harsh on us.

"We made too many mistakes and you can't do that against such a good team as Wigan. But our attitude was really good, the boys never gave up and we made a game of it in the second half.

"Richie Mathers didn't drop his head and did some good things when he came back on. That's the mark of the player he is."

Wigan coach Michael Maguire:

"I'm very disappointed. It's not acceptable from our team to turn out a second-half performance like that.

"Credit to them, they came back well, but we blew a few try-scoring opportunities. If you do that, it allows teams to come back into the game and, in the end we were lucky to get something out of it.

"What we did today was unacceptable. In the first half we controlled the ball very well but in the second half we didn't. If you don't control the ball you don't win games."

Castleford: Mathers; Dixon, Thompson, Arundel, Owen; McGoldrick, Orr; Jackson, Milner, Emmitt, Ferres, Aspinwall, Hudson.

Replacements: Chase, Fozzard, Massey, Widders.

Wigan: Roberts; Charnley, J Tomkins, Goulding, Richards; Finch, Deacon; Mossop, Leuluai, Lima, Hansen, Hoffman, Tuson.

Replacements: McIlorum, O'Loughlin, Prescott, Farrell.

Attendance: 7,263.

Referee: Phil Bentham (Warrington).

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see also
Huddersfield 40-18 Castleford
05 Jun 11 |  Rugby League
Catalan Dragons 20-12 Wigan
04 Jun 11 |  Rugby League
Wigan 38-22 Castleford
06 Jun 10 |  My Club
Castleford 22-36 Wigan
21 Mar 10 |  My Club
Rugby League on the BBC
15 Oct 10 |  Rugby League
Rugby league commentaries
03 Apr 10 |  Rugby League

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