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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 24 Castleford Tigers 32

12th July 2002

By Leeds Rhinos

Sections of the Leeds support called for Coach Daryl Powell’s sacking on Friday night after watching their side crash to a fourth Super League defeat in five games.

The Rhinos were taken apart by a lively Castleford side at Headingley and may live to regret their decision to play with five players missing due to Great Britain call-ups.

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Powell now needs his returning quintet to shake off their jetlag and the disappointment of their Test hammering by Australia quickly to prevent the club's season from disintegrating.

A Tigers side well-marshalled by Danny Orr and Wayne Bartrim proved too strong for a youthful Rhinos team and Kiwi Michael Smith was inspired in the second row.  And to make matters worse for Leeds, talented youngster Rob Burrow was stretchered off with a suspected broken leg in the second half.

But it was the Tigers who started sluggishly as Leeds capitalised on the early sin-binning of Lee Harland for dissent.  Loose forward Harland thought he had opened the scoring but started to argue when he found he had been penalised by referee Steve Ganson. A ten-yard penalty developed into a card as he continued to complain.

Leeds took full advantage five minutes later when Adrian Vowles sliced open the defence to score under the posts.  The former Tigers captain should have had second minutes later but spilled a difficult pass with the line at his mercy.

Instead, the return of Harland saw Castleford camp for some time on the Leeds line and although the Rhinos defended well they were finally breached in the 21st minute.  Darren Rogers was the man to break through when he gathered his own kick ahead to touch down. Wayne Bartrim missed a comfortable kick to leave Leeds 6-4 in front.

Ten minutes later, Castleford were 10 points clear after two quick tries.  First Smith scampered sideways across the Leeds defence before spotting a hole and darting through and the Kiwi forward then provided a pass for Kyle Warren to race in.

Winger John Wells broke a weak tackle from Francis Cummins to add Castleford's fourth try, with Bartrim adding a third successful kick to give the Tigers a 22-6 advantage.  Wells increased Leeds' agony five minutes into the second half as Castleford continued to dominate a dispirited Leeds side.

And things got even worse for Powell when Burrow was carried off.  Waine Pryce darted down the blind side to stretch the lead to 30-6 before Leeds staged a late rally with teenager Danny McGuire running in two well-taken tries.

Bartrim landed a penalty and the final blow for shell-shocked Leeds was the sight of McGuire being helped off the pitch.  Even a late try from Matt Diskin could not prevent the Headingley crowd from streaming away before the end.

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