WIGAN Warriors thrashed Castleford Tigers 47-12 in the final Super 8’s game of the season on Friday night.
Tries from Matty Bowen, George Williams, Joe Burgess, Oliver Gildart, Larne Patrick and four from Domonic Manfredi ensured the Warriors did all they could in a bid to clinch the League Leaders Shield.
With two minutes to go in the game, cheers from the crowd erupted as they thought they had done the unthinkable and clinched the league leaders shield.
However, a last gasp try in the final seconds of the Leeds Rhinos game against Huddersfield Giants meant the Shield was flown back to Huddersfield to be presented to the Yorkshire side.
The home side were off to a flying start; tries from Manfredi and Bowen gave the Warriors an early 10-0 lead.
However, the visitors hit back through Luke Dorn and Junior Moors, meaning the Tigers led 12-10 at the half-time break.
After the interval, winger Manfredi scored three more tries to complete his hat-trick and push his side on the way to winning the league leaders shield.
Scrum half Matty Smith added an extra one point to put the Warriors out of reach before tries from Williams, Gildart and Patrick then sealed the win for Shaun Wane’s side and secured a home semi-final draw.
The Warriors will now face Huddersfield Giants at the DW Stadium on Thursday.
Wigan Warriors: 47 (10)
Tries: Manfredi 4, Bowen, Gildart, Williams, Burgess, Patrick
Goals: Bowen 5
Castleford Tigers: 12 (10)
Tries: Dorn, Moors
Goals: Gale 2
Referee: Phil Bentham (Cheshire)
By Joshua Ronfell