Thursday 17th July 2014
Story in brief:
Castleford Tigers moved up to third in the First Utility Super League after a frantic 24-all draw against Leeds Rhinos at Headingley on Thursday night.
The home side were in pole position to pinch it with a six-point advantage with ten minutes to go, but Kevin Sinfield was sent off for an apparent head butt on Luke Dorn, before Grant Millington levelled it up with a try a few minutes from time.
Castleford got off to a flying start, courtesy of Michael Shenton. Jamie Peacock made an uncharacteristic error from the kick-off, and Shenton found space out wide to put the visitors ahead after just one minute.
The Rhinos responded well though, and were soon in the lead thanks to tries from Tom Briscoe and Ryan Bailey, with Leeds finding joy with high kicks to the corner.
It was end-to-end stuff throughout the first half, and Weller Hauraki tied it up once more after great work from Kirk Dixon, who forced his way to the line before offloading to find the ex-Leeds man, who made the most of the winger's hard work.
Leeds snatched the initiative midway through the half thanks to Carl Ablett on 25 minutes, but the Tigers went into the break on level terms thanks to an opportunistic try from Nathan Massey, who finally got his first try of the season in the process.
The first big talking point of the game came just after half-time when Justin Carney's try was disallowed in controversial circumstances, after Shenton allegedly blocked the Rhinos defence. Cas were punished, and Ablett soon scored his second of the evening to give Leeds a handy six-point cushion.
Castleford were defending resiliently and admirably, and some smart work from Luke Dorn infuriated Leeds skipper Sinfield after 70 minutes. Sinfield uncharacteristically lost his head and appeared to throw himself towards Dorn, before being shown his marching orders from the referee.
It was a tough ask for Leeds to keep the door shut after Sinfield's moment of madness, and so it proved, when Lee Jewitt's flat pass found Grant Millington who strolled home to score. Marc Sneyd, who was faultless with the boot all evening, duly tied the scores, and despite a crazy last couple of minutes, it remained 24-all. Castleford move up to third in the competition.
Castleford: Dorn, Dixon, Webster, Shenton, Carney, Sneyd, Finn, Lynch, Milner, Jewitt, Holmes, Hauraki, Millington SUBS: Huby, Massey, Clark, Mariano.
Castleford Tries: Shenton, Hauraki, Massey, Millington
Castleford Goals: Sneyd (4/4)
Leeds: Hardaker, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, Sinfield, McGuire, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Ablett, Ward, Delaney SUBS: Achurch, Burrow, Bailey, Jones-Buchanan.
Leeds Tries: Briscoe, Bailey, Ablett (2)
Leeds Goals: Sinfield (4/4)
Referee: Ben Thaler
By Adam Etherington.