Leeds coach Brian McDermott believes Super League leaders Castleford have now sewn up the race for top spot following the win over the Rhinos on Friday night.
Castleford produced another emphatic display of their title credentials with the 23-12 win at Headingley which opened up a seven-point gap at the top of the table.
And McDermott, who had said in the run-up to the game Leeds needed to win to keep their hopes of the League Leader’s Shield alive, admitted theirs, and everyone else’s, chances of top have now probably gone.
“I think Cas have got that (the League Leaders’ Shield),” he said. “It’s maybe not in the cupboard but the cupboard doors are open and waiting.”
McDermott revealed his pride in his side’s defensive performance but also lamented the way his side operated with ball in hand.
He said: “I’m really proud of a group of men that keep showing up for each other and defending as they did.
“But I couldn’t be any more disappointed with what Castleford didn’t have to defend.
“I don’t think we’ll be as poor as that again this year with the ball.”