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The West Yorkshire derby had it all to play for as Castleford Tigers travelled the short distance to Headingley to take on the arch enemy the Leeds Rhinos as both sides desperately needed the two points on offer.

The visitors couldn’t improve their league position with a win but could increase the gap between themselves and the bottom two club while the Rhinos knew that a win by more than twelve points would lift them into the top six, at least for the next twenty hours.

The Rhinos were handicapped by ten on the coupon, the bookies thinking that it would be a Rhinos win but not necessarily a convincing one.

Leeds had a very early try ruled out by the on field official and confirmed by the video referee for a knock-on in the build-up.

On nine, Innes Senior dropped a clanger as he knocked on a high kick twenty from his own line under no pressure. From the scrum the Rhinos opened the scoring with Ash Handley taking the final pass, after fast hands, to score in the corner. Rhyse Martin added the touchline conversion for a 6-0 lead.

On twenty-two the Rhinos got their second, Brodie Croft busting through the defensive line after throwing a dummy to score under the sticks. Martin added the conversion for 12-0, Leeds grinding out the crucial win on early showings.

Interference at the play the ball on thirty-three gave Martin another simple two points to push the lead out to three converted tries at 14-0, the Rhinos with a defendable lead at the interval, but some frustration that the advantage wasn’t larger.

Less than two minutes were on the second half clock when Matt Frawley threw the dummy and went between two tacklers to score by the sticks. Martin was on target again, the Rhinos now with a 20-0 lead.

Four more minutes later Martin shrugged off a couple of tacklers off a Frawley pass to stretch for the line and ground. He added the conversion to his own try and within five minutes of the restart the game was won and realistically out of Castleford’s reach.

The Tigers avoided a whitewash on sixty-three when Elie El-Zakhem pushed off a couple of tacklers and went low to force the ball to the ground in the right corner. Rowan Milnes was wide with his conversion attempt.

Brodie Croft was the provider for Martin on sixty-eight as he put his second rower through a gap to score by the sticks. Martin was on target for a sixth time in the game for a 32-4 victory, a good day at the office.

Despite their well-documented troubles, and calls for the coach’s head, the Rhinos are now inside the top six although barring a shock for Salford at London tomorrow afternoon they are likely to drop down a place by the end of the round. More strife for Castleford who couldn’t get any kind of toehold in the game and who had no answer to a Rhinos side who will admit that they still have a lot of improving to do. The Rhinos still have some skin in the competition as we head for the halfway mark, Castleford probably with little interest left in the season except a little pride.

Leeds Rhinos: Miller, Handley (T), Momirovski, Newman, Edgell, Croft (T), Frawley (T), Oledzki, O’Connor, Goudemand, McDonnell, Martin (2T, 6/6 G), Smith. Subs: Lisone, Sangare, Johnson, Nicholson-Watton. 18th Man: Roberts. 

Castleford Tigers: Hoy, Qareqare, Hall, Wood, Senior, Milnes (0/1 G), Miller, Griffin, Horne, Hall, Mellor, El-Zakhem (T), Westerman.  Subs: Watts, Putt, Namo, Robb. 18th Man: Hill.

Half-Time: 14-0.

Full-Time: 32-4.

Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 10-0, 12-0, 14-0 : HT: 18-0, 20-0, 24-0, 26-0, 26-4, 30-4, 32-4 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Leeds.

Referee: Chris Kendall.  

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sat 1st Jun 2024 7:15 PM | Views : 3145 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES