Super League: Castleford Tigers 12-26 Leeds Rhinos
|First Utility Super League|
|Castleford (6) 12|
|Tries: Shenton 2 Goals: Gale 2|
|Leeds Rhinos (16) 26|
|Tries: Hall 2, Moon, Ward, Cuthbertson Goals: Sutcliffe 3|
Super League leaders Leeds showed that there can be life without Kevin Sinfield as they beat Castleford to win the West Yorkshire derby at The Jungle.
Still missing their injured skipper, who announced this week he will switch codes next season, Leeds ran in five tries with Ryan Hall scoring twice.
Joel Moon, Stevie Ward and Adam Cuthbertson got on the scoresheet too, Liam Sutcliffe adding three goals.
Centre Michael Shenton scored twice for Cas, both converted by Luke Gale.
|Hall of fame in Castleford|
|Ryan Hall has scored 22 of his 148 Super League tries against Castleford. His early sin-binning was the first of his career.|
After the early loss of Hall to the sin-bin for holding down in the tackle, Leeds suffered another setback when stand-in outside-half Sutcliffe, deputising again for Sinfield, dropped the ball over the line.
But the Rhinos roared back to score three tries by the break.
Centre Moon went in at the left corner for his first try of the season before Hall, newly returned to the pitch, also went over in the left corner, this time converted by Sutcliffe.
Cas centre Shenton got on the end of a kick through to pull a try back, Gale adding the extras, but Ward crashed over two minutes before the break, Sutcliffe again converting to restore Leeds' 10-point cushion.
The first half of the second period was end-to-end stuff in which the next score was likely to be the crucial one - and it finally came when Hall scored with ease in the left corner on 63 minutes.
Five minutes later, prop Cuthbertson, denied a try earlier by a magnificent cover tackle by Gale over the line, scored his fourth of the season, to which Sutcliffe added his third successful kick of the day.
Shenton did get a second try with just over two minutes left, converted by Gale. But Cas were left to rue their missed chances as they suffered their fifth defeat in eight matches.
Particularly Super League's top try scorer Justin Carney, who had one try disallowed and another thrown away when he failed to spot Adam Milner at his shoulder,
Castleford head coach Daryl Powell:
"I don't think we ever got our game together. Leeds were the better side consistently.
"We're just not consistent enough, whether it's from ruck to ruck, or game to game.
"We've got some work to do to improve. We need to toughen up in the middle, have better creativity and be more consistent.
"We're good enough to be at the top end of the table, if we can piece it together on a more consistent basis."
Leeds head coach Brian McDermott:
"That was a great performance. It was a tough old game and a contest throughout. I don't think we were ever comfortable that we'd win.
"We saw a lesser version of Castleford offensively and you have to credit our defence for that. We didn't see the best of Justin Carney or a few of their players.
"Kevin Sinfield has not played with us before and we've been all right. There's lots and lots you need to say about Kevin and rightly so, but we're cracking on.
"Between Liam Sutcliffe and Danny McGuire it was their best 80-minute performance. McGuire has been good since the start of the year and Sutty kept it nice and tight."
Castleford: Dorn; Clare, Gibson, Shenton, Carney; Finn, Gale; Lynch, B Moore, Millington, O Holmes, Webster, Massey.
Replacements: Milner, Cook, Boyle, Wheeldon.
Leeds: Hardaker; Handley, Watkins, Moon, Hall; Sutcliffe, McGuire; Singleton, Aiton, Peacock, S Ward, Ablett, Cuthbertson.
Replacements: Burrow, Delaney, Achurch, Yates.
Sin Bin: Hall (5).
Referee: Ben Thaler (RFL).