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Last Updated: Friday, 27 August 2004, 21:28 GMT 22:28 UK
Leeds 64-12 Castleford
MATCH DETAILS
Leeds (34) 64
Tries: Dunemann, Senior, McDonald, Walker 4, Burrow 2, Bai, Poching 2 Goals: Goals: Sinfield 8
Castleford (6) 12
Tries: Crouch, Davis
Goals: Hepworth 2
Leeds Rhinos secured the top spot in Tetley's Super League with three games remaining by hammering Castleford.

The Rhinos ran in 12 tries against the relegation favourites to secure the League Leaders' Shield for the first time for 32 years.

Chev Walker scored four tries for Leeds while his centre partner Keith Senior also stood out.

Senior scored one try himself and also supplied the passes for two by scrum-half Rob Burrow.

Burrow scored twice in the first 12 minutes and when Senior raced over for the third, and Kevin Sinfield slotted his third goal, Leeds led 18-0 after only 21 minutes.

Castleford, without five senior players through injury, gave themselves brief hope when Australian Steve Crouch finished off a sparkling handling move.

They're enjoying it and they're ready to step up a gear or two
Leeds boss Tony Smith

But Leeds ran in three more tries before the break through Walker, who crossed twice, and Marcus Bai.

Two minutes into the second half Willie Poching powered over before Brad Davis grabbed a second try for Castleford.

But the Rhinos were in rampant form and when Dunemann crossed it was the sixth game in a row in which Leeds had topped 40 points.

They reached the half-century when towering prop Wayne McDonald crashed through some flimsy tackling and Walker rounded things off with two more tries to complete the rout.

Leeds coach Tony Smith warned his team that the hard work is not over.

"We're aware of what we've achieved so far but we've spoken about finishing the last three games strong so we go into the finals in good form," he said.

"We're happy but we're not satisfied. We've got to get better. That's what is driving these boys individually and as a team.

"They're enjoying it and they're ready to step up a gear or two."

Castleford coach Gary Mercer admitted the size of his side's defeat very disappointing.

"That hurt me quite a lot," he said. "We spoke at half-time about getting pride in our line.

"I thought the spirit was willing but we were beaten by a red-hot side. We couldn't cope with their class and out and out pace.

"We have to regroup because we have a big test next Sunday against Salford," added Mercer.


Leeds: Mathers, Bai, Walker, Senior, Calderwood, Dunemann, Burrow, Ward, Diskin, McDonald, Adamson, Lauiti'iti, Sinfield. Replacements: Poching, Bailey, Jones-Buchanan, McDermott.

Castleford: Gibson, Pryce, Saxton, Clayton, Rogers, Davis, Hepworth, Greenhill, Hudson, Jackson, Lynch, Crouch, Harland. Replacements: Sykes, B. Smith, Shenton, Tookey.

Referee: Ashley Klein (London)




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