MAGIC CAS BEAT RHINOS IN NEWCASTLE
Leeds struck first 6 minutes into the contest. A high bomb from the Rhinos wasn’t taken by Widdop and they had the ball back within 20m. On the third play, the ball found Austin, who cut left and found a looping ball out wide to former Cas man Olpherts who went in at the corner.
The Tigers were level just 6 minutes later. After being awarded a penalty on their own 20, Cas headed up the field. A neat move sent Widdop through a gap, but when caught, he had Turner on his inside. Turner received the ball and found the Tigers half back Miller to go in under the sticks. Widdop with the boot, levelled the contest.
It didn’t take long before the Tigers took the lead! Elliot Wallis with his first competitive Try for Cas came on 15 minutes. A run from dummy half from McShane got them in good field position before he found Miller on his outside. Another pass to Widdop, who after receiving threw a brilliant face ball to Wallis and he burst down the wing, evading a diving tackle from the Rhinos to score in the corner.
A ball knocked down by the Fords followed by a penalty gave the Rhinos the chance to attack again within 10m. They swung left-to-right and found Olpherts on the wing, but Qareqare was there to greet him. JQQ dumped the former Castleford man into touch and the ball was back in Tiger hands.
Cas had another chance with 10 minutes left of the half to grab another. A high ball was dropped by Olpherts and the Fords had head and feed 20m out from the Leeds line. A neat move left and Widdop aimed for Wallis with a tip on but he was slightly to deep and the ball went out of play.
Edwards earned possession back with a one-on-one rip, and then two tackles later he went in search of a try. After he looked to have grounded, Ben Thaler sent it for video review, and was deemed to have been held up and a no try was given.
Leeds were in again with 4 to go until the break. A kick through on the last from McDonell bounced around the upright and Bentley was first to it to ground. There was some confusion as to whether Cameron Smith had knocked on first, however the video ref saw no evidence of that and awarded the Try and Rhinos the lead in this match once again, albeit a slender one.
A positive half from the Tigers who had the lead at one point in the half, however at the break, Leeds took a two-point advantage into the dressing room.
Leeds were the first over the line in the second 40. A high shot awarded the Rhinos a penalty in which they kicked into Cas’ half. A fired ball from Austin found Martin flat after a good line and he scored to the left of the posts. Martin converted his own try.
The Tigers kept in touching distance with a try of their own on 49 minutes. After a penalty for a high shot on Broadbent by Bentley, Cas were within range. A barrelling run from Sam Hall had tails wagging 2 metres out. The ball was then flung right to left and the final pass from Widdop found Mellor to score in the corner after being sent up to the video referee.
Cas looked to get back into the game, and spent the best part of 10 minutes inside the Leeds half. Two errors from Leeds and some brilliant defence gave Castleford a brilliant chance to attack.
A scrum play headed the way of Elliot Wallis who dived spectacularly in the corner, but a quick check from the video referee again, ruled out the try for a knock on in the act of grounding. Unlucky from the Tigers who spent their time on top since their second half try.
Against the run of play in the second period, Leeds extended their lead. A penalty for an offside against the Tigers gave them possession inside 20m. Oldezki was there to hit a flat ball and crash over underneath the sticks.
Alex Mellor got his second of the game to set up a grandstand finish! The ball found him on the left edge, just like his first one, he barged over to ground! After review, it was given and with Widdop’s kick good, it was a 4-point ball game with 9 to go!
And just two minutes later… Cas, were in FRONT! The ball was fizzed from left to right, and a tidy tip on from Broadbent found Qareqare on the right edge, he danced his way over and evaded a last-ditch tackle to ground!
The Cas end of the ground bellowed ‘Get into ‘um’ in the final 3 minutes, with Cas 2 points in front and that carried them home to victory! A brilliant performance and two points on the board for Andy Last’s men.
FULL TIME: Leeds Rhinos 24-26 Castleford Tigers