The Rhinos Reserve Academy produced a fantastic performance to defeat Castleford 48-4 at Headingley Carnegie.
The Rhinos Reserve Academy produced a fantastic performance to defeat Castleford 48-4 at Headingley Carnegie. The home side were forced to play a much changed line up with so many players called up to first team action however it mattered little as they continued their charge at the top of the table. It was the Rhinos who opened the scoring with five minutes on the clock when Paul McShane went down the short side to find Chris Clarkson who, in turn, put Ben Collins in for the try. The winger cut infield to round Alex Shenton and score just to the left of the posts. Simon Brown added the extras to give Leeds a 6 point lead. The Tigers hit back with 11 minutes on the clock, Richard Tafa released Jack Lee with a great offload. He then chipped the ball over Tom Sheldrake before regathering but Collins hauled him down just short of the line. A quick play the ball though allowed Craig Duda to get over the line before the Rhinos defence could re-organise. Desi Turner was unable to convert but leave Leeds with a two point advantage. Leeds extended their lead with eight minutes to go to half time, Paul McShane put Gareth Moore into a huge gap and the scrum half went over by the posts. Three minutes later the Rhinos were in again and it was one straight from the training pitch. From a scrum on the Castleford 40, Gareth Moore put a kick over the back of the advancing Castleford line and Collins got their ahead of Clarkson to claim his second try of the game. Simon Brown converted the first try to take Leeds into the break 16-4 ahead. Leeds got the first score of the second half with five minutes on the clock. After an optional restart from Moore gave the Rhinos a starting platform on the Castleford 20 it was a chance for the Rhinos to strike and after an offload from Tim Scire it was Moore himself who jinked his way over for his second try of the afternoon. Simon Brown converted to take the Rhinos 22-4 ahead. The Rhinos extended their lead further with 51 minutes on the clock, Simon Brown splitting the Castleford defence and Mathew Fox was on hand to score. Then from the resulting kick off Leeds were in again, Joe Howey breaking through the Castleford defence and going 70 metres down the South Stand touchline. Simon Brown added one conversion the leave Leeds 32-4 ahead. The Rhinos had an answer to everything the Tigers could throw at them, twice denying the Tigers with superb goal line defence but at the other end of the pitch the Tigers defence had no answer to the Rhinos as McShane, Simon Brown and Howey combined to send Danny Lawton in at the corner. Simon Brown converted from the sideline to take the Rhinos 34 points clear and confirm their place at the top of the league table for another week. Leeds went through the 40 point barrier with ten minutes to go after an offload from McShane found Howey and he combined with Lawton to send French trialist Rachid Ahlalou in at the corner. Simon Brown was unable to convert but it put Leeds 42-4 ahead. Leeds completed the scoring with three minutes to go when Howey put Sheldrake away to score in the corner. Moore took over the kicking duties and duly added from the touch line to leave the Rhinos 48-4 winners. Next Saturday the Rhinos Reserve Academy travel to Edge Hall Road to take on Wigan Warriors in a top of the table clash, kick off is 2.30pm. By Matt Horton