Rob Burrow produced a piece of the magic for which the diminutive scrum-half is becoming renowned to get Leeds back on track and back into second place in Super League.
The Rhinos were allowing the match they had dominated to drift away from them when Burrow picked up the ball midway through the second half. With nothing on, he bounced out of Dave Fritz's tackle and darted past a series of other defenders to touch down.
"He's that sort of player,'' said his coach, Daryl Powell. "He's a will o' the wisp. Their best defender tried to tackle him and he got away.''
Leeds had produced a first rate team effort before the interval, with three well-constructed tries that underlined their technical superiority. Kevin Sinfield, the young Great Britain forward, stepped through and served the ball up for Matt Diskin to claim the first and then Willie Poching sent Keith Senior, who was just too strong and fast for his markers, striding away for the second.
Matt Adamson's charge and one-handed pass to Sinfield then set up Ryan Sheridan for an absolute beauty and Leeds were on their way to a comfortable win.
That all changed when Michael Eagar and Lee Harland scored for Castleford in the opening minutes of the second half and, if Wayne Bartrim had landed a penalty from half way and Ben Walker had kicked out on the full, Tigers would have been level.
But then Burrow, the player they call "Dangermouse", made his crucial contribution and Leeds never looked back again. Barrie McDermott came back into the game and got the ball out of the tackle for Walker to score a try to go with his six goals, and Mark Calderwood rounded it all off.
"At times we play some fantastic stuff, but I was getting greyer by the minute the way we put ourselves under pressure after half time,'' Powell said of his side's game of contrasting styles.
For Graham Steadman, the picture at Castleford is consistently grim. His team lack the spark they have been able to ignite in recent seasons and his long injury list has worsened with a serious back injury to Jon Wells.
Castleford Tigers: Lennon; Pryce, Eagar, Wells, Rogers; Orr, Healey; Sykes, Bartrim, Sampson, Harland, Fritz, Hudson. Substitutes used: Smith, Warren, Godwin, Lynch.
Leeds Rhinos: Cummins; St Hilaire, Carroll, Senior, C Walker; B Walker Sheridan; Ward, Diskin, McDermott, Adamson, Poching, Sinfield. Substitutes used: Burrow, Hay, Calderwood, McDonald,
Referee: I Smith (Oldham).Reuse content