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Super League: Leeds Rhinos hold off Castleford Tigers in the rain
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Leeds extended their lead at the top of the Super League table, reversing a two-point half-time deficit to defeat Castleford 22-14 at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
Ben Jones-Bishop made the most of a rare first-team opportunity to cross twice, taking the winger's tally to seven in five starts in 2014.
Kallum Watkins also bagged a brace of tries to help the Rhinos come out on top and make sure they avoided another loss at the home of the Tigers, having suffered a 14-12 defeat in the corresponding fixture last year.
Castleford looked like they could pull off a repeat result when they led at the break by the same scoreline, only to fail to muster another point in the match.
Kirk Dixon had broken the deadlock in the right corner with Tom Briscoe caught out of position and with Marc Sneyd adding a penalty to go along with the conversion, Castleford were 8-0 up after 15 minutes.
The gap could have been even bigger had the pass not been forward following an Andy Lynch break, though Jordan Tansey did superbly well to deny former Rhinos team-mate Danny McGuire at the other end of the field after winger Dixon had spilled one of a number of kicks aimed in his direction.
However, there was nothing any Tiger could do to stop Jones-Bishop crossing soon after in the right corner, and it was down the same side of the field that Kallum Watkins managed to hold off three Cas players to touch down.
Wet and wild
Kevin Sinfield kicked both conversions from out wide, not easy on a wet and wild night in Yorkshire, and it seemed Leeds would head in at half time with a 12-8 advantage.
Instead it was the hosts who hit the front when Sneyd stepped off his left foot not once but twice to cut a way through to the line, the half-back sliding over underneath the uprights to leave himself with an easy kick to push his team back in front.
That, though, would be the final time the Tigers scored, meaning for the first time in the campaign they failed to score three or more tries in a match.
Leeds regained the lead when a high kick from Danny McGuire was not dealt with by the defence, Zak Hardaker climbing highest to knock it back and set up the chance for Jones-Bishop to complete his brace out wide.
Sinfield was unable to add the extras but it didn't prove costly as his side opened up a crucial cushion when Watkins did superbly well to notch his second try.
The England international was set free by a Brad Singleton and, although Michael Shenton caught up with his fellow centre, Watkins made sure the ball-carrying arm didn't hit the floor, allowing him reach out for the line.
Castleford did all they could to try and find a way back but Leeds' much-vaunted defence - marshalled superbly by the evergreen Jamie Peacock, who played all 80 minutes - stood firm to record their 10th league win.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
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