Super League: Castleford Tigers 16-12 Wigan Warriors - Olpherts sets up win with first Tigers try
|Betfred Super League|
|Castleford Tigers (12) 16|
|Tries: Olpherts, Blair Goals: Richardson 4|
|Wigan Warriors (6) 12|
|Tries: Byrne, J Burgess Goals: Hardaker 2|
Derrell Olpherts' first try for Castleford set a much-changed Tigers side up for an impressive win against Wigan at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Olpherts and Cheyse Blair went over for the hosts before Liam Byrne responded for Wigan in the first half.
A Danny Richardson penalty to make it 12-6 at the break was followed by another two crucial second-half kicks.
Joe Burgess went over for what was a late Wigan consolation try as Tigers held on for their second win of 2020.
Castleford head coach Daryl Powell was forced to make a number of changes to the Tigers side that gave Sonny Bill Williams' Toronto Wolfpack a thumping introduction to Super League just five days earlier.
George Griffin, Adam Milner, Tyla Hepi and Greg Eden missed out with knocks, while Peter Mata'utia is serving a two-match suspension.
Wigan also had to contend with a injury list of their own after beating Warrington in their opening Super League game.
Marquee man George Burgess missed the trip to Yorkshire, while hooker Sam Powell was another notable victim of the physical season opener as he failed to recover from a head knock suffered in that match.
Castleford made a bright start but it took 18 minutes for them to breach Wigan's resistance, the ball moved through a number of hands to the right where Olpherts grabbed Tigers' first home try of the decade.
Blair went over for Castleford's second just after the half hour and, while Byrne bustled over for Wigan in response, a penalty from Richardson ensured the hosts led by six at the break.
Wigan went close to levelling 12 minutes into the second half when second rower Willie Isa got on the end of a grubber from Jackson Hastings but could not control the ball as he attempted to touch down.
Warriors man Jake Bibby was then inches away from touching down a kick before it rolled dead.
Castleford remained composed under mounting pressure, with two further penalties from Richardson ultimately deciding the match.
The result ensured Michael Shenton celebrated his 300th Super League appearance with victory, while it spoiled a 500th career appearance for Wigan captain Sean O'Loughlin.
Castleford head coach Daryl Powell:
"It's a pretty important win for us and a significant one for us too, looking at the team we had out, we had a few young boys out there.
"It's a huge win, all the values we placed so highly were out there in massive amounts today.
"Michael Shenton is a class player and obviously our captain. He's been awesome in his time here and he keeps racking up milestones.
"He was excellent, we asked our leaders to stand up tonight and they did."
Wigan head coach Adrian Lam:
"It was really frustrating, just a penalty-a-thon. There were 10 penalties against and no flow in the game.
"We were poor with a lot of things, our attitude wasn't right, I'm not impressed at all.
"Four of the penalties were in front of the posts and you can't do that when you come to Cas.
"We got a little bit ahead of ourselves after last week. It's an opportunity to re-think and move forward again."
Castleford Tigers: Rankin; Olpherts, Blair, Shenton, Clare; Trueman, Richardson; Watts, McShane, Smith, Holmes, Millington, Massey.
Replacements: Moors, O'Neill, Peachey, Hall.
Wigan Warriors: French; J Burgess, Hardaker, Bibby, Marshall; Smith, Hastings; Clubb, Leuluai, Partington, Isa, Farrell, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: Byrne, Havard, J Shorrocks, Smithies.
Referee: Marcus Griffiths.