Castleford 42-10 Leeds: Tigers compound Rhinos' woes
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 08/07/18 7:23pm
Teenage half-back Jake Trueman was Castleford's hero as they condemned Leeds to a 42-10 derby defeat in their first match under their new coaching team of Kevin Sinfield and James Lowes.
The Rhinos led 10-4 after 17 minutes, thanks to two tries from winger Tom Briscoe, but trailed 16-10 at the break and the impressive 19-year-old Trueman sealed their fate with two solo tries in the second half as the Tigers scored 38 unanswered points.
An 11th win from their last 12 derbies lifts the Tigers above Warrington into third place in the Betfred Super League, while an eighth successive defeat keeps Leeds in the bottom four.
Indeed, with Huddersfield and Catalans Dragons, the two teams immediately above them, both winning over the weekend and Hull KR below them moving to within two points, the reigning champions face a nervous end to the regular season as they seek to avoid a place in the dreaded Qualifiers.
Sinfield, who has returned to the club following the sacking of head coach Brian McDermott, shuffled his line-up by recalling half-back Jordan Lilley, with Joel Moon reverting to his old centre spot, and restoring Ashton Golding to full-back.
Castleford had winger Greg Eden, last year's Super League leading try-scorer, back from a four-match injury absence, and he made his mark in the second minute with a searing break through the heart of the Leeds defence, but his centre Michael Shenton could not take a wayward final pass.
Returning Leeds skipper Stevie Ward showed how it should be done moments later when he sliced through the first line of defence to get Briscoe over for his first try, which Liam Sutcliffe converted.
Eden made amends when he scored the Tigers' first try, which stemmed from a handling error by Golding 20 metres out from his own line, but Briscoe added his second try on 17 minutes after being released by Sutcliffe to restore the visitors' six-point lead.
With Trueman causing all sorts of problems with his darting runs at the Leeds line, the Tigers dominated most of the first half but without making it tell on the scoreboard.
Jesse Sene-Lefao was held up over the line and Jamie Ellis and Mitch Clark both lost control of the ball seeking to touch down as the home side did everything but score.
The pressure eventually told, with full-back Quentin Laulu-Togaga'e making the most of a break by Shenton to score his fourth try in five appearances and substitute Matt Cook touched down a grubber kick from Ellis, who kicked both conversions to make it 16-10 at the break.
Leeds suffered a body blow with the loss of Ward four minutes into the second half with a head knock and they were further behind when Trueman jinked his way to the line for a deserved try.
The livewire half-back repeated the feat on 56 minutes to claim his second try and Ellis' fourth goal made it 28-10.
Leeds visibly wilted in the sweltering conditions and Sene-Lefao punished them with two tries in the last 11 minutes and Ellis taking his conversion tally to six from seven attempts before wrapping up the scoring with a penalty.