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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Castleford Tigers 31 Leeds Rhinos 30

16th July 2006

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos lost out in controversial circumstances at the Jungle, going down 31-30 to the Tigers.

The Rhinos arrived at the Jungle without captain Kevin Sinfield and Gareth Ellis. Sinfield picked up a dead leg last week and was not 100% for this game whilst Ellis was given a rest after an outstanding month for club and country. Castleford included three former Rhinos in their starting line up with Peter Lupton and Danny Sculthorpe alongside Grand Final winner Danny Ward. The game started at a blistering pace in scorching conditions with five sets completed between the two sides before the first break in play. But if the home side thought they were going to get a breather at the scrum they were sadly mistaken. The Rhinos attacked from ten metres from their own line, a great offload from Lauitiiti released Jamie Jones-Buchanan, he drew the man before passing back inside to Keith Senior. The giant centre powered up field before passing to Rob Burrow on half way and he burst clear of the despairing defenders. He converted his own try to make it 6-0 after six minutes.

WP – Home MPU

Castleford hit back after ten minutes and it was former Rhino Danny Ward who levelled the scores. The prop, playing in the second row for the Tigers, burst through the line 20 metres out and then dummied to his supporting runner before just beating Keith Senior to touch down. Brough converted to make it 6-6. Both teams were slogging it out in a typically high tempo local derby. Leeds were guilty of making too many errors but Castleford were in fine form with Danny Brough collecting a superb 40:20 kick midway through the half. The pressure paid off from the home side when Adam Fletcher finished off a flowing move to score in the corner and give the Tigers the lead for the first time after 24 minutes. Brough missed the conversion to leave the score 10-6. With half time approaching the Rhinos needed a spark and, as so many times before, it was Danny McGuire who provided it to become the leading try scorer in Super League. It continued his incredible scoring run against the Tigers, having scored against them every time he has played against Castleford with his 13th try in his ninth game against them. Burrow added the conversion to make it 12-10 after 36 minutes.

However, the Tigers were not to be outdone and came roaring back. A short kick off caused mayhem in the Leeds ranks and from the ensuing scrum, they moved the ball from one side of the pitch to the other and Shenton forced his way over in the corner. Brough again missed the conversion but the home side led once again 14-12. The Rhinos got off to a poor start to the second half as they allowed the kick off to bounce dead and from the drop out conceded a penalty for a high shot by Nick Scruton and then one for not rolling away by Jamie Jones-Buchanan. The Tigers elected to go for goal with the second penalty and Brough extended the lead to 16-12 after 42 minutes. Things then got even worse for the Rhinos. Danny McGuire attempted an offload in heavy traffic on half way, Ryan McGoldrick latched onto the loose pass and scampered away to score untouched under the posts to give Brough a straight forward conversion and make it 22-12 to the home side.

Castleford were putting the Rhinos under intense pressure with three back to back sets inside the Leeds ten. The Rhinos then gained a lifeline after 50 minutes when Chev Walker showed tremendous power to burst through three would tacklers and break up field. He perfectly timed his pass to McGuire who sprinted through to score under the posts. Burrow's conversion making it 22-18. The Tigers hit back straight from the kick off when Leeds were penalised for using a blocker to protect McGuire as he tried to catch the ball. Brough kicked the penalty to take the Tigers out to a six point lead. Brough had the chance to further extend the lead after 57 minutes but his badly struck his attempt and it went wide. However, he was on target after 60 minutes with a drop goal attempt from 20 metres out which crucially put the Tigers two scores in front. Leeds again had to defend stoutly to keep themselves in the game as Castleford constantly kept the pressure on with astute kicking by Brough and strong running by the likes of Willie Manu.

However, the Rhinos got a break on 68 minutes. A chip ahead by McGuire bounced out of the grasp of Luke Dyer and Scott Donald dived to touchdown one handed. Burrow added the conversion from the touchline to bring the visitors back to within a point. The home side then had their own slice of luck and it was a massive one. Adam Fletcher kicked through with nothing on on the last tackle and Lee Smith appeared to have the ball covered as the in goal touch beckoned. But Fletcher had followed up the kick and was adjudged to have touched the ball down at Smith's feet before the line. Brough added the conversion to make it 31-24. The Rhinos came back determined and got another score to puts the Tigers nerves on edge in the closing stages. Leeds worked the ball well upfield before Millard crashed over from a short pass five metres out. However, time was the Rhinos biggest enemy and only had a weak Danny McGuire drop goal attempt to show for their efforts.

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