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Saturday, 24 February, 2001, 18:23 GMT
Rhinos kings of the Jungle
Tonie Carroll breaks through the Castleford defence
Tonie Carroll breaks through the Castleford defence
Castleford 12-42 Leeds

Leeds remain on course for their third successive Silk Cut Challenge Cup final after beating Castleford in an entertaining fifth-round tie at the Jungle.

Rhinos skipper Iestyn Harris contributed 18 points with two tries and five goals.

But the victory was soured by an injury to Leeds full-back Brett Mullins.

The former Australian Test star was taken to hospital with a suspected broken arm.


There are some things we need to improve on but hopefully this is the start of a good year for us
Leeds coach
Dean Lance

The late withdrawal of experienced half-back Mitch Healey forced the Tigers to re-organise.

Aaron Raper switched from hooker to scrum-half and it took them a good half-hour to get to grips with the new formation.

The dismissal of prop Dean Sampson for a high tackle didn't help their cause.

Rhinos in charge

Leeds began and ended the match in dominant fashion and were 16-0 up after 21 minutes.

They scored three tries in the opening quarter, the first of which came after 90 seconds.

Scrum-half Ryan Sheridan made a break and intelligent support play from Karl Pratt and Kevin Sinfield allowed Keith Senior to run in.

Tigers full-back Richard Gay was sin-binned for a cynical obstruction on debutant hooker Matt Diskin - and Leeds took full advantage.

Harris set up Tonie Carroll for his first points for the club and the impressive Sinfield broke out of Andy Lynch's weak tackle on halfway to score a third try.

Leeds, who were without Bradley Clyde, seemed to be coasting, but Castleford began to claw their way back into the game.

Comeback

Substitute forward Nathan Sykes sparked the fightback when he was first to reach Raper's grubber kick to the line.

The Tigers kept up the pressure into the second half and were rewarded within two minutes.


Leeds did some good things but we made them better than they were. Our defensive display was pretty poor
Castleford coach Stuart Raper

Vowles surged forward and winger Darren Rogers squeezed over at the corner.

Orr missed the conversion, though, and Sinfield ran over to re-establish Leeds' 12-point lead.

The Rhinos made the game safe on 56 minutes when second rower Andy Hay worked the ball out of a two-man tackle close to the line for prop Barrie McDermott to plunge over.

Harris kicked the conversion, his 500th goal for the club.

Rogers touched down for his second try but Leeds finished with three tries in the last 12 minutes - two from Harris and Pratt also got onto the scoresheet.


Castleford: Gay, Wells, Mather, Eagar, Rogers, Orr, Raper, Lynch, Shaw, Sampson, Harland, Tonks, Vowles.
Replacements: Sykes, Smith, Handford, Lennon.

Leeds: Mullins, Pratt, Carroll, Senior, Cummins, Harris, Sheridan, Fleary, Diskin, McDermott, Farrell, Hay, Sinfield.
Replacements: St Hilaire, Walker, Wrench, Mathiou.

Referee: Robert Connolly (Wigan).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Leeds prop Barrie McDermott
"You probably won't see them (Castleford) play as badly all year"
Leeds' Kevin Sinfield
"We wanted it more than Castleford"
Leeds captain Iestyn Harris
"It was a great performance by us"
Leeds coach Dean Lance
"We should take pride in how good we played"
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