Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Rhinos End Cup Final Hoodoo

After a great season so far in the competition, Saturday saw the first all Yorkshire Challenge Cup final of this century as Castleford took on Leeds with both looking to end long gaps since their last capture of the famous trophy.

Leeds made a perfect start in their bid to prevent a seventh successive defeat in the final as Kallum Watkins picked out Tom Briscoe out on the wing who crossed for a try with Kevin Sinfield converting successfully for a 6-0 lead inside five minutes.

Castleford responded well and reduced the arrears in the 12th minute when they were awarded a penalty right on the Leeds line with the set culminating in a superb kick from Marc Sneyd with Daryl Clark collecting the ball for a try. The decision went to a video review and was quickly given but a tough angle saw Marc Sneyd unable to convert at 6-4.

The Tigers were caught out just five minutes later when a high kick from Rob Burrow resulted in a superb collection from Danny McGuire who crossed for a try which Kevin Sinfield duly converted for a 12-4 lead.

Leeds went into the interval with a 12 point lead after a 25th minute try from Ryan Hall that saw him bulldoze his way over the line aided by the barrier of a Castleford defender increased their lead and despite Kevin Sinfield missing for the first time, the score at half-time was 16-4.

Castleford bounced back early in the second half with a great dash and pass from Michael Shenton finding Oliver Holmes who raced over for a well-worked try and Liam Finn converted successfully for 16-10. Leeds regained their 12 point lead with 13 minutes remaining as Ryan Hall battled over the line and as Kevin Sinfield looked to convert his effort his both posts before crossing successfully for 22-10.

The gloss on the win came with four minutes remaining as Danny McGuire swept over a drop goal for 23-10 to secure a first Challenge Cup triumph since 1999 and end a run of six successive defeats in the final which saw Ryan Hall names as the Lance Todd trophy winner for man of the match.