Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield didn’t, after all, make a return to the side for today’s game at Castleford Tigers, but Liam Sutcliffe proved an able deputy, combining superbly with Danny McGuire in Sinfield’s absence as the Rhinos gained a valuable 12-26 victory.
The Rhinos suffered an early setback when winger Ryan Hall was sinbinned for holding down Luke Gale in the tackle, after Gale had made a break downfield.
The Rhinos survived Hall’s absence, however, and they took the lead on 15 minutes when Moon scored from a superb long pass by Danny McGuire.
Liam Sutcliffe couldn’t add the goal, but he did six minutes later, when Hall touched down after a great offload by Adam Cuthbertson.
After Brett Delaney was held up over the line, the Tigers roared back into the game when Michael Shenton touched down Liam Finn’s delicate kick into the in-goal, with Gale adding the conversion.
The Tigers could have been in again when Carney dropped a Shenton pass, and the Rhinos went to the other end of the field and Stevie Ward was able to touch down a Sutcliffe grubber, with Sutcliffe again adding the goal.
Early in the second half Andy Lynch made a great break for the Tigers, but Sutcliffe tackled Shenton into touch.
Adam Cuthbertson and Brad Singleton were both tackled over the Tigers’ tryline but were unable to ground the ball.
But Hall did finally touch down after 63 minutes after great work by McGuire and Joel Moon, and when Cuthbertson touched down from a Rob Burrow pass after 67 minutes the game was up for the Tigers, with Sutcliffe’s goal making it 6-26.
The Tigers weren’t finished, however, and after 69 minutes Justin Carney had a try disallowed for obstruction, but seven minutes later he combined brilliantly with Shenton for the Castleford captain to score a spectacular try that Gale was able to convert.
A full report and photos from this game will feature in Monday’s edition of Rugby League Express.