Leeds 34-20 Castleford: Rhinos charge towards play-off spots

Drew Darbyshire
Ash Handley Leeds Rhinos

Leeds beat West Yorkshire rivals Castleford 34-20 at Magic Weekend to edge closer towards a spot in the Super League play-offs.

The Rhinos are now just one point behind Hull, who occupy the sixth spot in the Super League play-offs.

Both teams played in a Rob Burrow inspired-kit, with the Rhinos and Tigers kits featuring the iconic number seven of the Leeds legend.

Rohan Smith’s side started strongly, with Australian prop Matt Prior going over in the 14th minute.

But the Tigers fought back into the game and levelled the score midway through the first half through Jake Mamo.

Lee Radford’s men went into the sheds 10-6 ahead thanks to an effort from USA international Bureta Faraimo just before the half-time hooter.

HT: Leeds Rhinos 6-10 Castleford Tigers

Greg Eden Castleford Tigers

Greg Eden in action for Castleford

The Rhinos came out firing at start of the second half. An overlap on the left side saw Ash Handley score his 100th try for Leeds.

Castleford were sluggish in the second half and Aidan Sezer danced through a gap in the Tigers defence to extend his side’s lead.

Things went from bad to worse for the Tigers when Leeds scored two within five minutes around the hour mark through Ireland World Cup hopefuls Richie Myler and James Bentley.

Liam Sutcliffe then poured more salt into the wounds of the Tigers with a try out wide in the 68th minute.

Radford’s men pulled one back through Faraimo but it would only prove to be a consolation.

Sezer was sin-binned two minutes from time for a high shot on Richardson, and Castleford’s Mahe Fonua scored in the following set. However, it was the Rhinos who finished comfortable 34-20 winners in Newcastle.

FT: Leeds Rhinos 34-20 Castleford Tigers

Leeds: Myler, Fusitu’a, Hardaker, Sutcliffe, Handley; Johnson, Sezer; Oledzki, O’Connor, Prior, Martin, Bentley, Smith. Subs: Dwyer, Walters, Gannon, Donaldson.

Tries: Prior, Handley, Sezer, Myler, Bentley, Sutcliffe Goals: Martin 5

Castleford: Evalds; Olpherts, Fonua, Mamo, Faraimo; Eden, Richardson; Lawler, Milner, Griffin, Edwards, Mellor, Westerman. Subs: Watts, Matagi, Smith, Martin.

Tries: Mamo, Faraimo 2, Fonua Goals: Richardson 2

PODCAST: Paul McShane on play-off goals, England & Love Island

LOVE RL: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League podcast and mobile app