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Leeds Rhinos

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Leeds Rhinos 40 Castleford Tigers 22

24th June 2012

By Leeds Rhinos

Zak Hardaker produced a man of the match winning display as the Rhinos kept up their winning ways with a 40-22 win over Castleford.

The Rhinos faced another West Yorkshire derby inside a week when they welcomed Castleford to Headingley Carnegie for a rare Sunday afternoon game.

WP – Home MPU

Leeds were without Jamie Peacock but welcomed back Kallum Watkins to the centres and Stevie Ward started at loose forward for the first time.

Despite the home side missing the England captain, it was his international team mate Rangi Chase who caused most chatter before kick off as he was omitted from the Tigers line up.

Leeds started strongly and could have taken the lead early on through Ben Jones-Bishop on two occasions. The first time the winger was denied by the touch judge as he tried to touch down under pressure in the corner and then five minutes later he managed to get over the line only to be pulled back for a forward last pass from Danny McGuire.

However, there was no denying the winger after twelve minutes when a quick pass from Watkins released the England flyer. Sinfeild was off target but Rhinos led 4-0.

That lead was extended by a double from Rob Burrow. Teenage sensational Ward cut through the Tigers defence before passing to Burrow, who did well to take the ball in one handed, and he raced over to score between the posts after 17 minutes. He went over for his second after 24 minutes when Ryan Hall was the provider with a strong break down the touchline, before he offloaded to McGuire. The scrum half timed his pass to perfection over the top and Burrow was on hand to score. Sinfield converted both to make it 16-0.

Hall was then denied a try when he took Sinfield's cross field kick but was adjudged to have made a double movement as he stretched out to touch the ball down.

Castleford managed to gain some momentum after that as they were awarded five consecutive penalties and, whilst the Rhinos produced some great goal line defence, the pressure proved too much and the Tigers crossed through Jackson. Orr was on target to make it 16-6.

Leeds finished the half on the front foot after that and Hall got a try he richly deserved. He and Ablett combined twice down the touchline before the winger took the return pass to stretch out and score his 500th point for the club. Sinfield was on target on the hooter to make the half time score 22-6.

The Rhinos kept up the momentum after the break with a fantastic piece of play by Hardaker. He broke clear inside his own half and then beat five Castleford defenders as he ducked and weaved his way up field. He could probably have gone in for the try himself but instead unselfishly passed to Watkins to score a simple try.

Leeds then extended their lead further when Jones-Bishop was fastest to react to a loose pass by Cas. He kicked ahead and then collected the ball off the first bounce before going in untouched between the posts. Sinfield converted both tries to make it 34-6.

The home side were in total dominance now and they cemented that position with another try just before the hour mark when Sinfield kicked cross field and Hall timed his jump to perfection to collect and score. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 40-6.

However, Leeds will have been disappointed to not press home that advantage as it was the Tigers who finished with a flurry of scores. They were reduced to 12 men when Richard Owen was sin binned for starting a fight however they were awarded the penalty from original foul by Ablett and they crossed in the next set through Craig Huby, who converted his own try.

They cut the lead even further when Brett Ferres crossed with twelve minutes to go, which Huby missed, and Ferres completed his brace with three minutes to go, which McGoldrick converted to make the final score 40-22.

Remember you can follow all the action on our official Twitter page as it happens at www.twitter.com/leedsrhinos and we will have highlights and exclusive reaction from the camp following the game.

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