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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Castleford Tigers 38 Leeds Rhinos 20

7th March 2008

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos unbeaten start to the season came to an end at the Jungle as Castleford ran out 38-20 winners. Leeds had trailed 24-6 at just after half time as the Tigers turned the form book upside down to claim their first win of the season. The only bright spot for Leeds came from a hat trick by Scott Donald who took his tally to eight for the season. The game started in typical derby fashion with both sets of forwards putting in some big hits. For the Rhinos Matt Diskin and Kevin Sinfield picked up where they had left off the previous week at Elland Road as they ran the show for the Champions

Indeed it was the Leeds skipper who played a crucial part in the opening try after 16 minutes. Leeds regained possession 20 metres from their own line when a Castleford pass went straight into touch. From the scrum, Sinfield fed Brent Webb, he timed his pass to perfection and Scott Donald raced down the touchline to score his 50th try for the club. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 6-0. The Tigers hit back just three minutes later when young sensational Joe Westerman regathered his own grubber kick before holding off the tackle of Diskin to put the ball down one handed. However, he could not convert his try so the Rhinos still led 6-4. However, Castleford did hit the front soon afterwards. Lee Smith was dragged into touch when he had no option but to take a high ball near the touchline. From the scrum, Castleford moved the ball quickly wide and Ryan McGoldrick released Stuart Donlan to score in the corner. Westerman was wide of the mark with the conversion so it remained 8-6. The Rhinos had to withstand a large period of pressure after that as referee Phil Bentham twice seemed to harshly penalise Diskin for high tackles whilst a flurry of punches from a Castleford defender on Diskin went unpunished. Eventually the pressure told and Luke Dorn crossed for the Tigers third try. Jordan Tansey stopped a certain try after hacking a Brent Sherwin kicked clear however a minute later Dorn was on hand to scoop up the ball and score. Westerman did convert this time to make it 14-6 to the home side after 32 minutes.

WP – Home MPU

The Rhinos had a couple of opportunities towards the end of the half but dropped balls cost them dear and they trailed at the interval. Leeds paid a heavy price for those missed chances when Michael Shenton scored 18 seconds into the second half. Shenton initially fumbled the kick off but he manage to knock the ball back to Donlan. He powered his way through two would be tacklers and broke up field. Donlan drew the tackle from Webb before passing to Shenton to race clear and score. Westerman again missed the conversion but the Tigers lead was still 18-6. It got worse for Leeds four minutes later when a high shot by Keith Senior was penalised. Castleford had their tails up now and with a set deep in Leeds territory eventually they found Shenton who scored in the corner. Westerman then kicked his hardest conversion of the night to make it 24-6 after 46 minutes. The Rhinos finally woke from their slumber three minutes later. Having gained possession 40 metres from the Tigers line, Sinfield and Webb combined to release Senior. He attracted the last defender before offloading to Donald to score his second try of the game. Sinfield was off target with the conversion so it remained 24-10. Castleford had an incredible chance to kill off the Rhinos fightback but some how the Rhinos managed to regroup to stop them five metres short. That looked crucial two minutes later when Donald crossed for his hat trick after good hands by Senior put him away in the corner. Sinfield could not add the conversion but Leeds had cut the lead to 24-14. However, the home side did manage to extend their lead full back Ryan McGoldrick burst through 20 metres out and glided round to score between the posts. Westerman added the conversion to make it 30-14 with just 17 minutes to play. With ten minutes to go Castleford gave themselves an insurance policy by kicking a penalty after Leeds were penalised for ball stealing. Westerman's goal made it 32-14. They were glad of that lead three minutes later when Jordan Tansey crossed for his first try of the season after chasing a grubber kick by Webb. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 32-20. However, it mattered little as in the last minute of the game Luke Dorn crossed for the Tigers to wrap up a memorable win for the home side.

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