Round 4: Leeds crush Castleford

Leeds got their season back on track by ruthlessly disposing of local rivals Castleford by 66-14 in their rearranged engage Super League clash.

Following the postponement of the tie on Friday night due to freezing conditions in West Yorkshire, Leeds wasted little time in reapplying the heat on current leaders St Helens, making a mockery of the close battles these two clubs have shared over the years and in the process subjecting Terry Matterson?s men to a record Super League loss.

Coach Tony Smith was able to hand a Leeds debut to forward Ian Kirke, while Danny Williams retained his place on the wing at the expense of Lee Smith.

Castleford were able to welcome Matt Whitaker back from an ankle injury, although a knee problem ruled Danny Ward out of making an instant return to the club which sacked him just over a month ago.

Despite securing their first win of the season against Catalans last weekend, any hopes the Tigers may have had of backing up that win were well and truly over by the interval.
Aside from their poor discipline, conceding eight first-half penalties, they also shipped seven tries to trail 42-8 at the break.

Chev Walker and Rob Burrow were the main architects of their downfall, the former bagging a hat-trick and the latter a brace as Leeds ran riot. They had taken an early lead through Burrow, who collected Williams? pass to race over, before Willie Poching breezed into a gap to score in the corner.

Walker then posted a length-of-the-field score after a Paul Handforth pass went astray with Leeds camped on their own line, quickly followed by Kirke marking his debut by cantering into a gap to score under the posts.

With Castleford visibly wilting, Burrow outfoxed their defence to jink over for his second, before Walker registered a quickfire double, the second of which came right on the half-time hooter to secure his treble. Kevin Sinfield converted all seven tries, while Castleford?s contribution came via a try from Tom Haughey and two Craig Huby goals. All their points were scored while down to 12 men, with Danny Sculthorpe in the sin bin for dissent.

The second half began in similar fashion with Danny McGuire racing clear of the defence after collecting Richie Mathers? pass, before Ryan McGoldrick provided some respite for the visitors, collecting Gray Viane?s offload to cross the line.

With the scores set at 48-14, any hopes of a comeback were somewhat fanciful, and that was confirmed when Mathers helped Leeds pass the 50-point barrier with his first try of the season, stepping past the Tigers? defence with ease.

After a quiet period, Ali Lauitiiti restored order with a typically rampaging effort, before Ryan Bailey followed suit after charging down the middle of the field. Sinfield converted both and ended with a 100% record from his 11 goal attempts.

Leeds: Mathers, Donald, Walker, Senior, Williams, McGuire, Burrow, Bailey, Diskin, Peacock, Lauitiiti, Poching, Sinfield.
Replacements: Millard, Feather, Kirke, Ablett.

Castleford: Platt, Pryce, Shenton, Dyer, Viane, McGoldrick, Handforth, Sculthorpe, Henderson, Nutley, Huby, Whitaker, Haughey.
Replacements: Bird, Kain, Blanch, Boyle.

Leeds (42) 66.
Tries: Burrow 2, Poching, Walker 3, Kirke, McGuire, Mathers, Lauitiiti, Bailey. Goals: Sinfield 11.

Castleford (8) 14.
Tries: Haughey, McGoldrick. Goals: Huby 3.

Referee: Phil Benson (Bolton)

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