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Most Leeds supporters making their way into Headingley tonight were hoping for the best but expecting the worst against a Castleford Tigers side who themselves were heavily beaten by St Helens last time out.

The Rhinos were without Brett Ferres who picked up a two game suspension for the use of the knees in the loss in Perpignan last weekend while Daryl Powell made one change to his losing side with Will Maher replacing Tuoyo Egodo.

A win by four points of more would lift Leeds off the bottom of the table, but Castleford were intent on the win to keep up the pressure on the two sides above them.

Both sides started the game by making early errors and after Paul McShane dropped the ball on his own thirty, Konrad Hurrell took the ball at speed and pushed the Tigers defenders out of the way as he stormed thirty metres to ground. Liam Sutcliffe hit the far upright with his conversion attempt. The Rhinos 4-0 up after four minutes.

On twenty-one, and after absorbing some Rhinos pressure, Liam Watts pushed Richie Myler over the Leeds line to ground on the last tackle to draw his side level. Peter Mata’utia hit the near upright with the conversion attempt, failing to give the visitors the lead.

The Tigers made a real mess of fielding the kick-off, escorting the ball into touch close to their line. Two tackles into their set Hurrell hit a gap to go over but referee Thaler spotted an obstruction from Jamie Jones-Buchanan and ruled out the four pointer.

On twenty-seven a Leeds kick to the corner ended up in the hands of Tom Briscoe who grounded but again the referee ruled out the Leeds try, this time for a knock-on in the collect and pass.

On the half hour the Rhinos finally got over for their second when Ash Handley was on hand to take a Hurrell pass and ground in the corner. Sutcliffe hit the post again, three out of three for tonights kickers, the Rhinos now 8-4 ahead.

On thirty-five Adam Milner pushed his way to the line but was unable to ground with Leeds hands under the ball, the video referee not overruling the on field officials ‘No Try’ decision.

Ninety seconds before the break, Mata’utia wouldn’t allow Myler to play the ball on the Tigers thirty as he held onto his ankle. Myler pointed at the sticks and this time Sutcliffe hit the target, the Rhinos with a 10-4 lead at the interval.

A fantastic Kallum Watkins charge down, pick up and break saw him chased down and hauled back thirty out. A fast play the ball allowed Jack Walker and Liam Sutcliffe to combine with the half-back going over for the Rhinos third of the night. Cameron Smith slid the kick across the front  of the uprights.

On fifty-two Leeds were in again, this time through Trent Merrin who took a scooting Brad Dwyer pass to drop over the line from two metres out. The Rhinos fans were starting to believe that it might be their night when Smith this time added a conversion for a 20-4 lead.

On the hour mark Greg Minikin was on hand to find a gap as the Tigers worked the ball across the field from left to right. He was left with a ten metre run to dive over the line. Calum Turner added the conversion for 10-20.

Two minutes later, and with momentum on their side, Chris Clarkson hit the Rhinos hard after a late offload enabled McShane to throw the pass to put him over the line. Turner added the goal, the margin down to four points.

On seventy minutes Alex Foster beat Hurrell in a Mata’utia grubber chase to ground inside the dead ball line to level the scores. Turner pulled his conversion wide of the uprights, the two sides locked at 20-20 with eight minutes remaining on the clock.

The Tigers kicked a drop goal on seventy six but Leeds were awarded a penalty after Brad Dwyer was taken out chasing to make a tackle. Leeds failed to find touch with the penalty and the Tigers moved the ball downfield and Trueman tried another drop goal which went wide of the left upright.

Sutcliffe tried a Leeds drop goal with ninety seconds left but the ball fell short. McShane went for the line on the last tackle with a drop goal winner the easier option. The hooter sounded and the sides went into golden point.

Leeds received the kick-off and worked the ball to half way when on the last tackle Brad Dwyer limped his kick over the cross bar from forty minutes to snatch the game. After seeming to throw away a 20-4 lead the Rhinos snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and they can mostly thank a crazy decision from Paul McShane to run on the last tackle in normal time.

It was a game that was peppered with mistakes, with two poor defences but equally exciting offences. The Rhinos went into the game as underdogs and after easing to a commanding lead it looked like they were going to let it slip again, the story of their season so far. But having survived into the excitement of golden point, and thanks to an extraordinary first ever drop goal for Brad Dwyer, the Rhinos picked up a crucial two points in their efforts to escape the bottom of the table.

Rhinos: Walker, Briscoe, Watkins, Hurrell (T), Handley (T), Sutcliffe (T, G), Myler, Peteru, Dwyer (DG), Oledzki, Jones-Buchanan, Smith (G), Merrin (T).   Subs: Donaldson, Parcell, Singleton, Holroyd.

Tigers: Mata’Utia, Clarke, Minikin (T), Shenton, Eden, Trueman, McShane, Watts (T), Milner, Millington, Sene-Lefao, Foster (T), Holmes.  Subs: Moors, Cook, Turner (2G), Clarkson (T).

Referee: Ben Thaler.

Half-Time: 10-4.

Full-Time: 20-20, 21-20 after golden point.

Attendance: .

Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 28th Mar 2019 9:45 PM | Views : 2896 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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