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The ‘Rivals’ Round of Super League 2024 threw together the Castleford Tigers and the Leeds Rhinos to renew old rivalries and fight for the all-important two points as the opening fixture of the Easter weekend got underway on Thursday night at Wheldon Road.

A first win of the season Castleford, and by a margin of fifteen or more points, would lift them above Hull FC and into tenth place in the table, while a victory for the Rhinos would see them above the other Hull club, Kingston Rovers, and into fifth spot, with a massive points win potentially putting them higher.

The home side had a fourteen-point start on the coupon, the bookies predicting that the Tigers awful start to the season would continue for at least another week.

The opening moments of the game belonged to the home side who started the at speed and full of confidence. When they were awarded a penalty on five minutes after a Rhinos interference at the play the ball, Danny Richardson hit the left post and the ball bounced into the grateful hands of the Rhinos.

There were times in the first half when the Rhinos were just holding on, Castleford spending their time on the front foot, the Rhinos defending their line for all that they were worth. The Tigers had plenty of opportunities, but poor choices and poor execution let them down on the last tackle.

The Rhinos ended the half giving the ball some air but it came to nothing and the sides retired to the sheds with the scorers untested, the sides both scoreless.

The video referee was consulted on forty-one when a Brodie Croft kick to the corner was knocked on by Innes Senior before bouncing into goal and being grounded by Paul Momirovski for the first points of the game. Rhyse Martin added the conversion, the Rhinos with a 6-0 lead.

Momirovski got his second on fifty-one after a delightful passing move over fifty metres with Brodie Croft taking an Andy Ackers pass and using McDonald to feed the Rhinos centre for his second try inside ten minutes. Martin added the conversion to double the Rhinos lead, the Tigers players looking visibly deflated.

Martin added a penalty goal from ten metres out to extend the Rhinos lead to 14-0 on sixty-three minutes.

A testing Matt Frawley high kick on sixty-five caused mayhem in the Tigers defence as it was tapped back by Ash Handley with Lachlan Miller picking up ball from the ground and going in from eight metres out. Martin added the conversion for 20-0, the Tigers on the verge of a blow-out.

On seventy-one the Tigers registered their first points of the game when a towering kick was allowed to bounce by Frawley and collected by Josh Simm to walk over the line. Richardson added the conversion, the Leeds lead down to fourteen points.

The game was won on seventy-three after a Brodie Croft break down the middle and pass to Miller to go in for his second of the night. Martin was again on target with the conversion, his fifth goal of the night, for a 26-6 lead.

The Rhinos move level with four other sides at the top of the table on eight points, and above Hull KR. It’s yet another loss for the Tigers, particularly painful after a great first half performance where they were clearly the best side but unable to get points on the board. It wasn’t a straightforward Leeds win, but one that they will be delighted with as they continue to gel as a team.

Leeds Rhinos: Miller (2T), Roberts, Newman, Momirovski (2T), Handley, Croft, Frawley, Oledzki, Ackers, Sangare, Martin (5G), Bentley, Smith.  Subs: McDonnell, Lisone, Goudemand, O’Connor. 18th Man: Edgell.

Castleford Tigers: Broadbent, Sim, Hodson, Wood, Senior. Richardson, Miller, Lawler, McShane, Watts, El-Zakhem, Mellor, Westerman. Subs: Horne, Hall, Vete, Johnson. 18th Man: Robb. 

Half-Time: 0-0.

Full-Time: 6-26.

Score Progression: 0-0 : HT: 0-4, 0-6, 0-10, 0-12, 0-14, 0-18, 0-20, 4-20, 6-20, 6-24, 6-26 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: Leeds.

Referee: Aaron Moore.

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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Thu 28th Mar 2024 9:45 PM | Views : 11666 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES