Rhinos Slip To 9th After Cas Defeat

It was always going to be a tough task to outshine a side that hold a 10-0 head to head record against you in the Super League regular season, even with a renewed sense of optimism and some new old faces.

The Tigers would be punished for not taking their chances in the opening minutes, the pass forced and spilled, bombing a certain try for the home-side. Leeds would then do what the Tigers couldn't just minutes before, Ward splitting the line and finding Tom Briscoe on his shoulder to give the Rhinos opening points, Sutcliffe with the conversion to make it 6-0 with 6 minutes played.

The Rhinos clumsiness with ball in hand would cost them dearly, as Golding lost the ball in the tackle, McShane and Trueman reacting fastest to ship the ball to Greg Eden on the free play to hit back less than 60 seconds after conceding, Ellis unable to convert from the touchline.

The next 10 minutes of play would be rife with errors from both teams, Watts, Briscoe and Shenton all guilty of handling errors as the game appeared to move into forced phases of play. It would be Leeds who would break the habit and register the next points, Sutcliffe somehow getting an arm free to set away Tom Briscoe for his second of the game out on the right, Sutcliffe unable to add the extras as Leeds lead 10-4 after 18 minutes.

Castleford were slowly but surely feeling their way back into the contest, first Trueman forcing a goal line drop out from a teasing grubber, then Jamie Ellis knocking on as he looked to ground the ball, all before finally QLT would make one stick for the Tigers, stepping back inside off the back of a Michael Shenton break and squeezing through to score, Ellis converting to tie the game up at 10-10 with 25 minutes played.

Leeds would be caught offside and piggyback the Tigers deep into dangerous territory, McShane firing a warning shot that would lead to a goal line drop out, Cook would not be so forgiving, rising higher than Golding to claim the kick from over the Rhinos fullback's head and ground the ball, Ellis extending the Tigers lead further with the boot, 16-10.

Castleford would very nearly extend their lead further on the stroke of halftime, Mitch Clark stretching for the Rhinhos line but losing control on his way down, sending a very relieved Rhinos in trailing by six points.

Leeds' second half would go from bad to worse, firstly losing their captain to a head knock, then Jake Trueman finally getting the try he had threatened to score so many times in the first half, Ellis converting moving Castleford to a comfortable 22-10 lead.

The Rhinos looked like they were starting to find their feet in the second half for a while, first Hall's pass to Golding had to be swatted down to deny a certain try, then the England winger knocking on Moon's grubber to see Castleford hold out.

Signs of desperation were starting to creep in, Moon attempting a 40/20 that would see the ball exit the pitch on the full. Castleford making the Rhinos pay for their error, Trueman throwing the dummy and slipping through to score his second, Ellis on hand to add another 2 points, 28-10.

Leeds were guilty of not being clinical enough in good field position, Golding forcing a goal line drop out, then Leeds handing the ball right back from a forward pass. To build on the issue Leeds would then five away a penalty for offside and march the Tigers downfield.

From the resulting possession Jesse Sene-Lefao would push the Tigers out to an unassailable lead, the Castleford forward the fastest to react to Trueman's grubber and pounce, Ellis adding to his tally with the boot.

The Rhinos would completely capitulate in the final 5 minutes, allowing Sene-Lefao to help himself to his second in 5 minutes and giving away a penalty allowing Ellis easy points, leaving Leeds on the end of an eye-watering 42-10 hiding.


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