Cas spoil Leeds' party
Posted: Thursday 16th May 2019 - 9:41 PM
The Tigers returned to winning ways with a comprehensive 30-8 victory over Leeds at a completed Emerald Headingley Stadium.
The second meeting of the two teams in the Betfred Super League at the ground this season was headed by the opening of the Rhinos’ new North Stand facility, with fireworks and much fanfare pre-empting the start of a match that the Tigers controlled well in the opening exchanges despite a penalty goal for the home side in the 10th minute somewhat against the run of play.
However, the remainder of the half belonged to Cas, who posted the game’s first try after turning down a kickable penalty of their own shortly afterwards. The field position led to Jesse Sene-Lefao going over from Paul McShane’s short pass out of dummy half.
It prompted a bright spell from Daryl Powell’s side as Greg Minikin and Sene-Lefao both went close to extending their side’s lead before a sin binning to Leeds captain Kallum Watkins for a dangerous tackle on Greg Eden further extended Cas’ advantage in the match. The Tigers winger himself capitalised on the additional space shortly afterwards as he collected a wonderful cut-out pass from Jake Trueman to go over in the left corner, Peter Mata’utia adding his second conversion of the game to open up a 12-2 gap at half-time.
The lead could and arguably should have been cut on the stroke of the hooter as Watkins broke through on his return to the field, but Matt Parcell couldn’t take in his pass with the line gaping and the Tigers scrambled to safety, as they had done throughout the opening 40 during Leeds’ limited chances to attack the away end.
Cas started the second half much as they had done the first, happy to play out their sets and trade blows with the Rhinos until an opportunistic bit of play from Mike McMeeken set his team on the offensive, his ball steal taking the Tigers deep into opposition territory. From there, Matt Cook laid the platform with a strong carry to centre field from which McShane and Trueman combined to swing it left, Sene-Lefao then taking the latter’s short pass through a gap in the defence for his second try of the match five minutes after the restart.
Mata’utia nailed the conversion from out wide once again only for the Rhinos to strike back with their opening score of the game after McMeeken was harshly penalised whilst in possession for stepping of the mark. Parcell was the player to benefit as he crossed under the posts to start a spell of Leeds momentum that was abruptly ended by the Tigers crossing for their fourth try of the match, James Clare dotting down a loose ball in the in-goal area after Jordan Rankin’s lofted kick was spilled under pressure.
It was now Powell’s men who had their tails up and they struck again with the try of the game with 15 minutes remaining. Another good defensive set restricted the Rhinos inside their own half and Mata’utia gathered the clearing kick with pace, skipping on the outside of the chasers to send Eden racing into the backfield and he calmly passed inside to put the supporting Trueman over in front of the jubilant travelling Cas fans.
From there, and with the game wrapped up, the Tigers were content to see out the contest ahead of a trip to Liverpool for the Dacia Magic Weekend next Sunday.
Full Time: Castleford Tigers 30-8 Leeds Rhinos
Mata’utia, Clare, Minikin, Blair, Eden, Trueman, Aston, Watts, McShane, Millington, Sene-Lefao, McMeeken, Massey
Milner, Cook, Clark, Rankin
Tries: Sene-Lefao (2), Eden, Clare, Trueman
Conversion: Mata’utia (5/5)
Lolohea, Briscoe, Newman, Watkins, Handley, McLelland, Myler, Peteru, Dwyer, Singleton, Smith, Sutcliffe, Merrin
Oldezki, Parcell, Donaldson, Seumanufagai
Conversions: Sutcliffe (1/1),
Penalty: Sutcliffe (1/1)
Sin Bin: Watkins
*Match report by Matt Holden
**Photography by SWPix
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