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The Damo Bit - 2nd August 2011
Posted by southstander on August 02 2011 - 09:32:13

by DAMO-LEEDS

The Rhinos are nailed on favourites to sweep aside the the Castleford Tigers and take their place in the seasons first showpiece event at Wembley at the end of the month.

But Damo has been looking back at the record books and warns against complacency. The Tigers have a habit of biting the Rhinos when they least expect it.

Read more here....

All views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the site.

Terry Matterson’s Castleford Tigers have stopped an unbeaten Leeds Rhinos team before, so I have no doubt they’re more than capable doing it again. Cast your mind back to Friday 7th March 2008 when Leeds had just been crowned world club champions after defeating Melbourne Storm 11 – 4 in what arguably was the toughest match in the modern era of the game. Prior to that game the Rhinos were unbeaten in super league thanks to victories against Hull KR, Huddersfield Giants, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Catalans Dragons. This Leeds team were on a roll in 2008 and it took something very special indeed to stop it and it came in the shape of an impressive performance by Castleford.

Like many Rhinos fans on that March evening I was expecting the Rhinos to win the match with ease, like they'd done in every other match during the early stages of that super league season. After all it was only Castleford, and they'd just been promoted. Castleford shouldn’t have been relegated at all but I’ll save my anti-Wigan undertones for another column, another day. Anyhow this particular game didn’t have any points until the sixteenth minute when Scott Donald raced in for a sensational try which was to be followed by two others later in the game. To this day Scott Donald’s try against Castleford still remains one of my favourite moments as a Rhinos fan. Sinfield converted.

Excitement didn’t last long as it was then the turn of the young player with all the potential in the world, Westerman, to go over the try line. Castleford couldn’t get the conversion over so Leeds were still in the lead at that point. Not for long though as Stuart Donlan went over for another Castleford try two minutes early. Castleford went on to score another try in that first half and the Rhinos team looked like they’ve just come through an office shredder. The boys from below were cutting them to smithereens!

The agony only got more unbearable in the second half thanks to Michael Shenton posting and early brace of tries. Scott Donald scored his second half brace before Ryan McGoldrick went over for another try to make it 30 - 14 with 17 minutes to go. Jordan Tansey went over for what looked like a consolation try on the 75th minute. But it was the Tigers who had the last laugh thanks to a try posted by Luke Dorn in the final minute of the game. The score ended 38 – 20 to the Tigers.

Other than that the Rhinos record against the Tigers has been pretty good since that match. I reckon we’ll go onto Wembley, but there’s always that niggling doubt in the back of the mind because of that match in 2008. A lot of the Castleford personnel have changed since then but one person hasn’t and that’s the head coach. Terry Matterson has been a fantastic servant to rugby league and has bought Castleford as far as he possible could. It’ll be a shame that his team don’t make it to the final, but it’ll be comforting to know that someone can build on the platform that Matterson has laid.

It’s not a bad one eh?

Thanks for reading and a big thanks to RLPhotos as always for the photographs.

Damo

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