Cas Win Eighth Straight Vs Leeds
Posted: Friday 8th September 2017 - 10:49 PM
Castleford Tigers recorded their eighth straight victory over second place Leeds Rhinos on Friday night, defeating Brian McDermott’s side 38-24 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
A twenty-minute master class from the Tigers put the game beyond Leeds before the break, as Castleford racked up 30 points, including an outstanding brace from Ben Roberts.
The win moves the Tigers 12 points clear at the top of Super League with just two games remaining before attention turns to knock out Rugby and the Playoffs.
Castleford looked as if they had gotten off to the perfect start in the early moments, but an early Greg Eden try was chalked off for an apparent forward pass, to the bemusement of everyone in the main stand.
Instead, it was Leeds who broke the deadlock, scoring in the proceeding set through centre Kallum Watkins. The England international converted his own try.
The Tigers weren’t disheartened by the early set-back however, and they began to control the flow of the contest.
Ben Roberts failed to capitalise on a chance a few moments later – going himself rather than giving the easy offload to Mike McMeeken. But, he was only delaying the inevitable.
When the first Castleford try of the night went in, there can’t have been a surprised person in the ground at the scorer. Of course, as he has done all season long, Eden came up with it, finishing neatly in the corner.
As has so often been the case during the 2017 campaign, the twenty-minute mark was pivotal to the encounter, as it saw the arrival of Junior Moors and Grant Millington from the bench – two of Super League’s outstanding forwards this season.
Off the back of their substitutions came the Tigers’ second try of the night. Moors’ sheer presence at the goal-line drew the Rhinos defence to him, leaving a ball out to Roberts wide open. The Samoan half-back waltzed in without a hand on him, and this was just the start of his fun.
Roberts began taking apart the Leeds defence as the first half drew on, gliding through the clutches of defenders on a number of occasions.
Before long, he was involved in a Jake Webster try – as the Kiwi centre barged over the line for the third successive game.
The Tigers were simply purring with confidence now, and the difference in class was clear for all to see.
With ten minutes to play in the half, Alex Foster earned his reward for some excellent performances of late, evading the clutches of three Leeds defenders to touch down for his first try in a Castleford jersey.
Then, the Tigers rounded off the period with Roberts’ second try of the night, as he came up with a Luke Gale kick that teased everyone in the in-goal area before being planted down by the stand-off.
This final try of the half meant that Castleford went into the break with an unassailable 30-6 lead, to the delight of three-quarters of the ground.
If Leeds stood any chance of mounting a comeback in the second half, scoring the first try was obviously going to be crucial.
Thus, the away fans in the Railway End were pleased to see Jamie Jones-Buchanan score directly from the scrum base in the opening moments, giving the Rhinos a sniff of revival.
However, thoughts of a comeback were quickly dispersed. After coming up with the error that lead to Jones-Buchanan’s try, Greg Minikin instantly made amends, squeezing his way over on the right edge to retain the Tigers’ 24-point advantage.
With the contest all but over, despite it still being early in the day, the game saw a clear drop in quality. The middle period wasn’t the greatest display of rugby league ever seen, from both sides.
Eventually though, amongst all the dropped ball, the Rhinos started to put some pressure on, and came up with their third try of the game via hooker Matt Parcell.
Zak Hardaker went down in the act of defending the try, and stayed down until after the conversion. However, the full-back was able to walk from the field under his own strength – unfortunately to the sound of unsavoury jeers from the Leeds support behind the sticks.
Points were at a premium in the second half, so it made perfect sense when Gale opted to go for the two when a penalty was earned in the final ten minutes.
The two points extended the Tigers lead to four scores, and ended the game as a contest once and for all.
Mitch Garbutt went over on the hooter for the Rhinos, but the try made little impact on the joyous atmosphere around the ground.
Another two points for the Tigers, on the quest for Betfred Super League glory.
Final Score: Castleford Tigers 38-24 Leeds Rhinos
Hardaker, Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Eden, Roberts, Gale, Massey, McShane, Sene-Lefao, Foster, McMeeken, Milner
Interchange: Millington, Moors, Springer, Patrick
Tries: Eden, Roberts (2), Webster, Foster, Minikin
Conversions: Gale (6/6)
Walker, Briscoe, Watkins, Sutcliffe, Hall, McGuire, Lilley, Singleton, Parcell, Garbutt, Jones-Buchanan, Ward, Cuthbertson
Interchange: Golding, Keinhorst, Ablett, Mullally
Tries: Watkins, Jones-Buchanan, Parcell, Garbutt
Conversions: Watkins (4/4)
CBR Engineering Man of the Match: Zak Hardaker
Golden Gamble: 16920
*Match Report by Ross Williams
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