Super League Throwbacks: Wigan vs Castleford, Wakefield vs London Broncos
By Ian Proctor
Last Updated: 12/09/19 10:17am
Ahead of this week's Super League fixtures live on Sky Sports, rugby league researcher Ian Proctor looks at some previous meetings between the sides and picks out some memorable moments.
October 5, 2018: Wigan 14-0 Castleford
It is almost a year since Wigan Warriors played host to Castleford Tigers for the right to appear in the 2018 Grand Final.
In Shaun Wane's final home game in charge of the Warriors, it was their flawless defensive effort that choked the life out of a Tigers side seeking to make it back-to-back visits to Old Trafford.
Instead, Wigan secured their fifth Grand Final appearance in six seasons with the 14-0 win which saw Thomas Leuluai break the try-less deadlock on his 250th appearance for the club.
Sam Tomkins excelled in his last Wigan appearance at DW Stadium, scoring their other try, plus two goals, two drop-goals and a superb kicking game that kept the visitors on the back foot all night.
Castleford had been deflated before the kick-off when Super League's young player of the year, Jake Trueman, was forced to miss out, ending his 27-game playing sequence. The closest they came to scoring was when hooker Paul McShane lost the ball in the act of touching down.
May 5, 2006: Wigan 24-30 Castleford
Wigan and Castleford were struggling at the wrong end of the table when they met at the DW Stadium. Warriors' newly-appointed coach Brian Noble was only in his third game in charge, but saw for himself the scale of his task in reviving the biggest club in the game.
The Tigers emerged 30-24 winners in a thriller which left Wigan four points adrift at the foot of the table, half-way through the campaign, and closer to the threat of relegation than at any time since dropping out of the First Division in 1980.
Ultimately, it would be Castleford dropping into the Championship, having finished second-bottom in a season in which debutants Catalans Dragons were left holding the wooden spoon but exempt from relegation.
Micky Higham's second try of the evening set-up a tense finale but Castleford were superior throughout, having established a 22-12 interval lead with Michael Platt scoring two tries and others coming from Gray Viane and Brad Davis.
When a superb handling move involving Danny Ward, Danny Nutley and Ben Roarty created the 64th-minute try for Willie Manu it established a match-winning 12-point lead for the Tigers.
September 25, 2015: Wigan 47-12 Castleford
Four years ago, Wigan fans believed the 47-12 home defeat of Castleford had secured the League Leaders' Shield and denied Leeds Rhinos the treble, only for the Yorkshiremen and Ryan Hall to conjure their incredible last-gasp finale across the Pennines at Huddersfield Giants.
Bevan French is currently the name on everyone's lips at Wigan after his memorable first hat-trick in last week's home defeat of Catalans. But a luckless winger, currently forced to watch from the sidelines, could be forgiven for thinking it should be him scoring tries out wide.
The exciting winger emerging at Wigan in 2015 was one of their own, Dom Manfredi, and the powerhouse 21-year-old announced his arrival on the Super League scene with a majestic four-try display in the home Super Eights defeat of Castleford.
Another exciting Australian superstar, possessing many of the attacking traits that makes French special, had a major influence as Wigan made a statement ahead of the forthcoming play-off semi-final against Huddersfield.
In his penultimate appearance at DW Stadium, Matty Bowen scored a try and kicked five goals as Wigan comfortably saw off the challenge from the Tigers. Earlier, the visitors had threatened an upset when tries from Luke Dorn and Junior Moors gave them a 12-10 interval lead.
March 31, 2012: London Broncos 36-0 Wakefield
The last time the Sky Sports cameras witnessed a London-Wakefield fixture was for the meeting at the Stoop in March 2012. It was the occasion of a dominant Broncos display, in which Craig Gower excelled, and they crushed Trinity, 36-0.
The former Kangaroos international produced a sublime kicking game to ensure the visitors were on the back foot for the entire 80 minutes. is deft kicks produced three of his team's seven tries.
The Broncos were in control as early as the fourth minute when Tony Clubb scored their first try and it was 24-0 at the interval, with Dan Sarginson, Kieran Dixon and Michael Robertson also grabbing four-pointers.
When Robertson - a three-try Manly Sea Eagles NRL Grand Final hero in 2008 - crossed for his second touchdown early in the second-half, the procession was complete.
Liam Colbon and Luke Dorn added further tries to complete a wretched afternoon for a Wakefield side which included ex-Broncos favourite Paul Sykes on debut and had Isaac John working tirelessly in vain alongside fellow half-back Tim Smith.
April 26, 2008: Wakefield 24-20 London Broncos
The Sky Sports cameras captured a thriller as Wakefield completed their fifth-consecutive home win over the Broncos following a second-half fightback which saw them erase a 6-20 interval deficit.
It was effectively a game of two quarters, with Brian McDermott's side dominating the first period of the game and John Kear's men coming home strongly to take the league points.
The visitors were left to rue the fact that two first-half tries had been disallowed and the loss of star play-maker, former Australian international Scott Hill.
Four tries in the opening 20 minutes put the London side in the ascendancy - from Danny Orr, Matt Gafa, Michael Worrincy and Rikki Sheriffe - but when Jamie Rooney crossed for his second try for Trinity, on the hour mark, it was the start of a stirring comeback that thrilled the audience.
Tony Martin scored a try against the club he began with in Super League in 1996, before going on to achieve success at Melbourne, and then the outstanding Sam Obst crowned Trinity's comeback with the try that enabled Danny Brough to bring about their 24-20 win.
May 25, 2003: Wakefield 12-36 London Broncos
Wakefield have won their last 11 home meetings with the Broncos and the last time London avoided defeat at Mobile Rocket Stadium was in August 2003 when the teams produced a 26-26 draw.
The Broncos' last win at Wakefield had been achieved three months earlier, and, inevitably, it was try machine Dennis Moran who featured heavily in the 36-12 win.
Moran would finish as leading Super League try-scorer, for the second successive year, and the mercurial half-back scored home and away hat-tricks against Wakefield in 2003. The one at Belle Vue came when Moran switched to full-back - it remains the Broncos' most recent win on the ground.
Chris Thorman's sixth-minute try gave London an early lead but that was soon cancelled out by Ian Knott's effort.
Then it became the 'Moran show' as he sliced through for tries in the 18th, 60th and 78th minutes. In between, Russell Bawden and Nigel Roy added further tries and Thorman was near-flawless with the boot, landing six goals from eight attempts.