• Leeds Rhinos
  • 28 - 24

  • Castleford Tigers
  • Leeds Rhinos
  • HT 12 - 12
  • Castleford Tigers
26th October 2020 | KO 19:45 | Emerald Headingley Stadium | Betfred Super League

Leeds Rhinos 28 Castleford Tigers 24

A late fightback was needed from Leeds Rhinos but Richard Agar’s side got the job done at Emerald Headingley against derby rivals Castleford Tigers in the Betfred Super League, winning 28-24.

Bodene Thompson, Mikolaj Oledzki, Brad Dwyer and James Donaldson were the only Rhinos players to feature from Tuesday night’s defeat against St Helens as head coach Agar reintroduced the majority of the squad that won at Wembley two weeks ago. Luke Gale came up against his former side for the first time in Leeds colours and once again led from the front while Rhyse Martin accumulated 12 points over the 80 minutes.

The Rhinos got off to the worst possible start as Richie Myler dropped a high bomb to give the visitors a chance to apply early pressure. Gareth O’Brien tried to poke his head through the Leeds defensive line but the full back wasn’t getting through. On the next play, Danny Richardson prodded a grubber kick into the in goal area which was dropped on by Liam Watts, who opened the scoring.

Ten minutes later, Leeds levelled the score thanks to man of the match Ava Seumanufagai. Since the Tigers try, Leeds had turned the game in their favour; Kruise Leeming forcing an important handling error to turn possession over to the Rhinos in a dangerous position. The hooker was instrumental in the try, making the Rhinos play down the short side for Konrad Hurrell. Moving the ball back in field, Rob Lui dropped the ball off inside for prop Seumanufagai to barrel his way over. Martin levelled the scores with his conversion.

Penalties against Castleford was giving Leeds chances for points. After Alex Mellor was taken out without the ball, the Rhinos opened up the left side of the Tigers defence and Myler was unlucky not to get over the line. At the end of that set, Lui chased Gale’s kick into the in goal area and forced Cheyse Blair to take the ball over the dead ball line.

On the half hour mark, Castleford’s Oliver Holmes was shown a red card by referee Tom Grant for kicking Richie Myler while the Leeds full back was on the floor. With a man advantage, the Rhinos exploited the gap in the Tigers’ defence as Luke Gale scored against his former club. Paul McShane had been penalised for a late shot on the Leeds skipper and following a flowing move to the left side of the field, Gale cut back inside and took three Castleford defenders with him to the line to give the home side the advantage.

Although Leeds looked firm favourites to take their lead into the break, as the hooter sounded Cameron Smith put up a high bomb, hoping for Tom Briscoe to take it. The Leeds winger instead batted the ball down for the waiting Greg Eden who pounced on the loose ball and raced 70 metres to the try line. Richardson’s kick went between the uprights, making the half time score a 12 all stalemate.

 

Despite being a man down, Castleford made a strong start to the second half; Eden grabbing his second of the game. The Tigers were moving the ball well, creating space in the process, and as Richardson and Jake Trueman combined midfield, O’Brien spotted Eden in space and passed the ball out for the winger to round Ash Handley and score in the corner.

The Rhinos pushed to get back ahead and had a couple of great chance over the next 20 minutes. Hurrell took a drop off from Lui to bust through the Castleford defence but the post denied the centre and helped McShane keep the ball off the turf. Matt Prior was also held up in goal before Cameron Smith was chopped down by the Tigers defence short once more.

Past the hour mark, Leeds’ finally took lead once again with back to back tries. Smith came close but a nice passing move involving Gale and Myler released Sutcliffe to score from close range untouched. Tom Briscoe then got in on the act. Derrell Olpherts knocked the ball on after O’Brien had fielded Gale’s kick, setting Leeds up on the Tigers try line, and with the Tigers suffering with a man disadvantage, Lui spotted space on the edge and shifted the ball on to Martin, who’s timed pass to Hurrell was perfect, enabling the Tongan international to produce a brilliant offload for Briscoe to score in the corner. Martin converted the latter try giving the home side a slight 22-18 advantage.

Martin sealed the points six minutes from time, finishing off a break by Lui to slice through the Castleford defence and touch down to give the Rhinos the league points, despite a late penalty try for Blair, who was taken out in the air. Richardson’s conversion proved only a consolation as Myler took Leeds’ short kick off and wound the clock down; Leeds eventually winning 28-24 to close the gap to the Play Off places.

Team Performance

Goals

4

0

Tries

5

0

Player Performance

PlayerTRGLDGYCRCI+I-
Richie Myler0000000
Tom Briscoe1000000
Konrad Hurrell0000000
Liam Sutcliffe1000000
Ash Handley0000000
Robert Lui0000000
Luke Gale1200000
Ava Seumanufagai1000000
Kruise Leeming0000000
Matt Prior0000000
Alex Mellor0000000
Rhyse Martin1200000
Bodene Thompson0000000
Interchanges
Mikolaj Oledzki0000000
Brad Dwyer0000000
James Donaldson0000000
Cameron Smith0000000
PlayerTRGLDGYCRCI+I-
Interchanges
Stats Key
  • TR: Tries
  • RD: Red Cards
  • GL: Goals
  • I+: Interchange On
  • DG: Drop Goals
  • I-: Interchange Off
  • YC: Yellow Cards