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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Castleford Tigers 16 Leeds Rhinos 36

2nd April 2002

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds started and finished this enthralling Super League derby in sparkling fashion to climb back to second in the table.

The Rhinos were coasting at 18-2 just before the break but they were forced to withstand a terrific Castleford fightback before late tries from Ben Walker and substitutes Rob Burrow and Mark Calderwood secured a third successive win.

WP – Home MPU

Walker matched the Tigers' 16-point tally with a try and six goals but Leeds were especially indebted to the creating flair of international loose forward Kevin Sinfield, who had a hand in all three first-half tries.

The Tigers, who have gained just one point from three home games, looked out of it when they trailed by 14 points at half-time but they stunned their visitors with two tries in 11 minutes to set up a dramatic final quarter.

Cas would have drawn level had hooker Wayne Bartrim succeeded with an ambitious penalty from the halfway mark – but he was wide of the target and the Rhinos pulled away to gain a flattering margin of victory.

The visitors dominated the first half and went in front when the skilful Sinfield superbly slipped a pass out of a two-man tackle for hooker Matthew Diskin to touch down on nine minutes.

Diskin could hardly have made a better start on his return to the side after completing a three-match suspension.

Bartim pulled two points back for the Tigers with a 14th-minute penalty but Leeds, with second rower Matt Adamson in barnstorming form, stretched their lead with two more tries in six minutes.

Keith Senior, the form centre of Super League, took a pass from Sinfield on halfway and shrugged off a poor challenge from Jon Wells to race in and Adamson then combined with Sinfield to get Sheridan scurrying away.

Ben Walker kicked two of the conversions and also put over a 39th-minute penalty to put the Rhinos in complete control.

Castleford thought they had scored on 32 minutes when centre Darren Rogers touched down a high kick by stand-off Danny Orr but the try was disallowed for a knock-on and the home side had to be content with a second Bartrim penalty in injury time.

Castleford, who were pepped up by the arrival of substitute forwards Michael Smith and Kyle Warren, got right back in the game three minutes into the second half when centre Michael Eagar stretched out of an uncompleted tackle by Chev Walker to score his side's first try.

Walker had been moved inside from the wing after the withdrawal at half-time of Kiwi Test centre Tonie Carroll, hat-trick hero of the Rhinos' Good Friday win over Halifax, with a recurrence of his ankle injury.

Bartrim add the angled conversion to Eagar's try and he was also on target after second rower Lee Harland burst through the attempted tackle of Walker and Poching to touch down following a super break by Warren.

That brought the Tigers to within two points but Burrow gave the visitors more breathing space when he darted over from 10 metres out and Walker's fourth goal restored his side's eight-point advantage going into the final quarter.

The Tigers should have closed the gap once more when Smith collected a kind rebound off a post but he dropped the ball over the line and that was to prove their last chance.

Walker raced in after a clever offload by Barrie McDermott and Calderwood squeezed over at the corner for Leeds' sixth try.

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