Castleford 38-28 Wigan: Zak Hardaker endures miserable return to the Jungle
Last Updated: 06/04/19 9:01am
Wigan surrendered a 20-point lead as Castleford Tigers roarded back to seal a 38-28 win on Zak Hardaker's return to Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Wigan led 20-0 after 22 minutes and looked to have withstood the home side's comeback when Joe Burgess scored his second try on 64 minutes to regain the lead.
However, in a dramatic finish Egodo went over for his first try since scoring a hat-trick on his debut in 2017 to edge his side back in front and Peter Mata'utia completed the transformation with a last-second try.
Wigan, who had the chance to climb into the top five with a third straight win, were unfortunate to lose Jarrod Sammut, Joe Greenwood and Dom Manfredi to injury and they might have been out of sight but for an off day with the boot by Hardaker.
Hardaker, who was roundly booed by the Castleford fans that used to affectionately chant his name, managed just two conversions from his six attempts.
However, Hardaker earned the first penalty of the match which created the position from which stand-off George Williams got second rower Greenwood crashing over for the opening try.
Castleford, without influential hooker Paul McShane as he began a three-match suspension, had looked lively in the early stages, with Jake Trueman going close and Nathan Massey losing the ball over the line.
With prop Liam Watts showing the impressive form that has earned him an England call-up, the home side continued to pose problems for the champions on attack but their defence looked all at sea, with their opponents taking a particular liking to their right-hand side.
England centre Oliver Gildart could afford a slip on the greasy turf and still managed to scythe through for the first of his two tries on 14 minutes, and three minutes later he cut open the Tigers defence to get Williams over.
Left winger Burgess, fresh from his hat-trick against Catalans Dragons, finished off a glorious move for Wigan's fourth try and Hardaker's second goal made it 20-0.
Wigan suffered their first blow when half-back Sammut hobbled out of the action on 25 minutes and, although they had a like-for-like replacement in Jake Shorrocks on the bench, it caused some major disruption.
Castleford hit back with two tries in the second quarter, with second rower Oliver Holmes bundling his way over out wide and full-back Calum Turner taking a delayed pass from Mata'utia to add a second try.
Turner was unable to convert either try and Gildart caught the Tigers defence napping for his second try as Wigan established a seemingly-unassailable 16-point interval lead.
However, Wigan suffered more disruption with the loss of Greenwood to a head injury within a minute of the restart and they were soon on the end of a whirlwind spell by the home side.
Forwards Mitch Clark and Matt Cook, who both made a big impact from the bench, both went over for close-range tries and England international Adam Milner forced his way over from dummy half on 52 minutes to level the scores.
Mata'utia, having taken over the goalkicking duties from Turner, landed his second conversion to put his side in front for the first time.
The lead was short-lived, though, as Castleford failed to deal with Williams' high kick and substitute Morgan Smithies reacted quickly to set Burgess haring away for his second try.
Hardaker was off target for the fourth time and there was another twist when Egodo forced the ball over from dummy half after winger James Clare had been brought down just short of the line.