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Champions Humiliated by Classy Cas
Posted by southstander on March 07 2008 - 23:16:01

Anyone seen Keith?

All Leeds had to do today was turn up at Castleford and take away the two points.

It was a script that the home side hadn't read as they tore apart the World Champions with a sensational display of open football, backed up by a great defence. After last weeks storming Leeds showing against Melbourne, the Superleague lowliest club showed us what local derby passion is all about.

Still...what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

We bring you all of the action here......

20

Rhinos

v

Tigers

38

Superleague XIII

Round 5

7th March 2008

Champions Humiliated by Classy Cas

It was all change for the Rhinos. McGuire and Toopi were both ruled out after suffering injury last week against the Storm, and Jamie Peacock was rested in anticipation of a rough and tough Easter. Luke Burgess, Ash Gibson and Jordan Tansey all stepped up to the mark, the former making his first team debut. Even weakened by three regulars, no-one saw this shock result coming.

Early exchanges served to prove that we were going to be in for a bit of a game. Castleford weren't here to make up the numbers and gave as good as they got. Leeds had the slight upper hand, in a penalty free opening quarter and that manifested itself in points as the Rhinos opened the scoring after seventeen minutes. A scrum was put down on the Leeds twenty after Castleford threw the ball into touch. From the back of the scrum Webb fed Donald on the wing and he went eighty to score in the corner. My fiver had become fifty-five in the blink of an eye and when Sinny slotted over the extras we were on our way.

But three minutes later and the plans were back on the drawing board. A mix-up between Donald and Webb allowed Westerman to pick up a bouncing ball and brush off Diskin before scoring. He failed with his own conversion attempt from out wide.

Surely this was just a blip - even the bookies had us winning by sixteen.

On twenty-eight a speculative high kick from Cas was caught on the wing by Lee Smith but he was bundled into touch. From the resulting scrum the Tigers had far more pace to the right and Donlan went over on the overlap. Mercifully Westerman missed the kick again but the home side had hit the front. From here on in we were playing catch-up football.

On thirty-two a grubber on the last was collected by Dorn who touched down unopposed. The video referee was consulted but ruled the try good and when Westerman converted it gave the Tigers a 14-6 lead which they would carry into half time. Leeds had been outplayed in every aspect of the game and were lucky to still be within touch of Mattersons men.

We needed to improve massively in the second half, but instead we were about to watch the wheels come off the Leeds bandwagon.


Went Missing

From the second half kick-off the ball was collected and passed to Shenton who went through Senior as though he wasn't there, and then ran ninety metres to score in front of the Tigers cop. Rightly, they went mental. Westerman missed the conversion and we were starting to be thankful that they didn't have a kicker.

Four minutes later and Senior flopped on a player on the ground. Castleford moved down field and Shenton stepped inside before crossing for his second in four minutes. This time Westerman kicked the conversion and the home side had a 6-24 lead. I'm not sure who was the most shocked, me, or the Castleford Tigers supporters stood around me. The game was now over, Leeds were not coming back from this. Now it was a test of character and pride.


Hat Trick
On forty-eight the Tigers knocked on at the play-the-ball and from the scrum a quick break down the blind side saw Senior feed Donald for his second. Sinfield missed the extras.

On fifty-five Ali made good ground before finding Donald who went in for his hat-trick. Sinfield missed again but we'd narrowed the gap to just ten at 14-24. Was there a small hope that we could get back into the game. If there was it lasted just six minutes.

On sixty-one McGoldrick ran the Leeds defence ragged on the angle as he slipped out of three attempted tackles. Westerman added the goal for 30-14. On sixty-six it looked like Cas were in again after another defensive mix-up but the video referee ruled it out.

It was Leeds turn to lose a try on sixty-nine after JJB stole the ball in a three man tackle, and time was ebbing away giving the Tigers increased confidence.

On seventy-one Westerman kicked a penalty to open the margin to eighteen, narrowed five minutes later when a Webb grubber found Tansey to score, and Sinfield added the two. The last scoring action of the game was just before the final hooter when an exhausted Rhinos defence failed to tackle Dorns angled run and Westerman added the goal for a sensational 38-20 win for a very classy Cas.

No complaints here, the best side won and we were toally outplayed. Castleford combined skill with determination and a collective will to win overcame the shortcomings that had kept them pointles so far this season.

For Leeds this is a humiliation. World Champions to World Chumps in seven short days.

We undoubtedly missed the kicking game of McGuire, and several players (Senior, Ellis, JJB, Sinfield and Smith) went missing for long periods in the game. Some of the blame for the Rhinos performance can be laid fairly as the door of last weekend, but some of the Rhinos players need to take a good look at the tapes at the start of next week and ask themselves if they really did give 100%.

This is a lesson to the players that there are no 'gimmes' in Superleague XIII, and to fans (self included) that were beginning to think that we were unbeatable. We'll be back, bigger and stronger, but for now this one really does sting a bit. Watch out Harlequins next friday!


Man of the Match Poll

Points
Player%
10
Donald60%
8
Diskin24%
4
Burrow4%
4
Jones-Buchanan4%
4
Leuleui4%
4
Sinfield4%

See here for season standings.


Match Facts

Rhinos
Tigers
No.
Player
T
G
DG
No.
Player
T
G
DG
1
Webb
23
McGoldrick
1
2
Donald
3
2
Donlan
1
20
Gibson
3
Shenton
2
4
Senior
4
Dixon
5
Smith
5
Wainwright
21
Tansey
1
1
Dorn
2
7
Burrow
7
Sherwin
8
Leuleui
15
Huby
9
Diskin
20
Moore
16
Bailey
10
Korkidas
11
Jones-Buchanan
11
Guttenbeil
12
Ellis
16
Lupton
13
Sinfield
2
13
Westerman
1
4
14
Lauiti'iti
1
9
Henderson
17
Scruton
8
Leafa
19
Ablett
14
Higgins
20
Burgess
12
Clayton

Kick Off:
19:30
Half-Time:
06-14
Referee:
Phil Bentham
Crowd:
9,459


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