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Challenge Cup: Leeds Rhinos hit back to beat Castleford Tigers in fourth round
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Danny McGuire ruined a virtuoso performance from his England team-mate Rangi Chase to spare Leeds' blushes in a rousing Tetley's Challenge Cup fourth-round tie at Headingley.
The Super League champions have been runners-up at Wembley for the last three years but they were heading for an early exit, thanks largely to the efforts of Chase.
If the 2011 Man of Steel was playing his final game for Castleford amid rumours of an imminent return to Australia, he looked determined to go out on a high as he scored his first try of the season and created another for his half-back partner Jamie Ellis to twice give his side the lead.
The Rhinos were trailing 12-10 after an hour but McGuire came to their rescue with a timely brace of tries as Leeds finished strongly to secure a 28-12 win and a place in Monday's fifth-round draw.
McGuire's half-back partner Rob Burrow scored his first try of the season on the 400th appearance of his career and skipper Kevin Sinfield kicked four goals to climb into sixth place in the list of all-time points-scorers.
It looked routine for the champions as they opened up in impressive fashion, with Castleford working overtime to keep them at bay. McGuire missed a chance to open the scoring when he dropped Ryan Hall's pass but a break out of his own 20-metre area by Joel Moon set up the position for Sinfield to put in a pinpoint kick to the corner for winger Kallum Watkins to touch down.
Watkins got over again shortly afterwards but was denied by a forward pass and the Tigers struck back in devastating fashion on 18 minutes. Skipper Michael Shenton breached the Leeds defence and scrum-half Ellis was at his shoulder to send Chase over for a try.
Ellis' conversion put the visitors into a 6-4 lead and they scrambled superbly to keep their advantage intact up to half-time.
Castleford, who pulled off a surprise 14-12 win over Leeds in round two of Super League, continued to defend heroically in the second half but they were undone within two minutes of the re-start when Moon got into his majestic stride and McGuire was in support to get Burrow over for his try.
Sinfield's first goal of the night made it 10-6 but the Tigers were back in front on 53 minutes when Ellis raced on to Chase's grubber kick to claim his side's second try and added the conversion.
Leeds needed to respond quickly to ease their fans' growing anxiety and McGuire proved to be the man for the occasion as they hit their visitors with three tries in eight minutes to seize control of the game.
McGuire's short pass from dummy half got substitute forward Chris Clarkson crashing over for a 22nd-minute and four minutes later he jinked through a gap in the Castleford defence for a solo score, repeating the feat three minutes after that.
Sinfield's second goal, which went in off the right-hand upright, took him past former St Helens forward Kel Coslett's total, and he was on target twice more to take his tally to four from five attempts.Challenge Cup. Click here to bet.
|Tetleys Challenge Cup|
|Saturday 7th March|
|14:00||Elland vs Featherstone Lions|
|14:00||Wath Brow vs Newcastle Thunder|
|14:00||Oulton Raiders vs Normanton Knights|
|14:30||Leigh Miners Rangers vs West Hull|
|15:00||London Skolars vs Swinton|
|17:00||Kells vs Rochdale Hornets|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Barrow vs Keighley|
|14:00||South Wales vs York|
|14:30||North Wales Crusaders vs Widnes West Bank|
|14:30||Hemel Stags vs Oxford|
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