|Betfred Super League|
|Wigan Warriors (7) 14|
|Tries: Leuluai, Tomkins Goals: Tomkins 2 Drop-goals: Tomkins 2|
|Castleford Tigers (0) 0|
Sam Tomkins scored a try on his home farewell to help Wigan overawe Castleford and set up a Super League Grand Final against Warrington.
The Catalans-bound full-back was at his inspirational best in a victory that gives him and coach Shaun Wane the chance of glory in their final match.
Thomas Leuluai’s early try put Wigan ahead, with a drop-goal from Tomkins edging them 7-0 up at the break.
He then ensured an emotional victory and trip to Old Trafford with a try.
The 2012 Man of Steel award winner emphasised his influence on proceedings with a penalty and late drop-goal which saw him finish the semi-final with 10 of Wigan’s 14 points.
Victory sends Wigan to their 10th Super League Grand Final and fifth under Wane, who will take on a role with Scotland Rugby Union this winter.
With John Bateman and Ryan Sutton also playing their final home matches at the DW Stadium, there was a sense of determination in Wigan that the Tigers failed to match in an often tense affair.
A minute after a high hit from Castleford’s Luke Gale on Dom Manfredi sparked the first of a series of first-half melees, Leuluai darted over from close range to put Wigan ahead in what was his 250th appearance for the club.
Daryl Powell’s Castleford, a side which dazzled on the way to reaching last year’s Grand Final, lacked polish when it counted in the first half, with a combination of errors and stubborn Wigan defence leaving them scoreless at the break.
Tomkins extended the lead after the interval, but it was not enough to immediately extinguish Tigers’ hopes, with winger Greg Eden prowling with particular intent.
However, the mistakes that plagued Castleford in the first half continued and Wigan refused to relent in defence, with Tomkins adding further points with the boot to seal a low-scoring but comprehensive result.
Wigan coach Shaun Wane told Sky Sports:
“I’m very proud of our efforts today. I’m absolutely ecstatic.
“Our defence was fantastic. In the second half we had numerous sets on our own line and I was so pleased with the desire we showed to defend our line.
“Finishing at Old Trafford is a dream.”
Castleford coach Daryl Powell:
“We tried hard but maybe a little bit too hard at times. There were too many errors and Wigan defended so well to make it difficult for us.
“I just thought we panicked in the second half. We couldn’t control possession and put them enough under pressure to be able to break them down.
“They deserved it and it’ll be a great final next week.”
Wigan Warriors: Tomkins; Manfredi, Gildart, Sarginson, Davies; Williams, Leuluai; Navarette, Powell, Flower, Greenwood, Bateman, O’Loughlin.
Interchanges: Escare, Sutton, Clubb, Farrell.
Castleford Tigers: Mata’utia; Clare, Wardle, Shenton, Eden; Roberts, Gale; Watts, McShane, Millington, Holmes, McMeeken, Massey.
Interchanges: Webster, Milner, Sene-Lefao, Clark.
Referee: Ben Thaler