Leeds underline gulf in class with record win

Leeds 64 Castleford 12
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The Independent Online

Leeds clinched the League Leaders Shield with a record win over relegation-haunted Castleford last night.

Leeds clinched the League Leaders Shield with a record win over relegation-haunted Castleford last night.

Chev Walker led the way with four tries but this was a team performance that highlighted many of Leeds' strengths this season, notably the power and pace of their other centre, Keith Senior.

Even as they made sure of topping the table for the first time since 1972, however, there was no room for complacency at Headingley.

"They've shown they're the best team over the season, but that's not enough yet. They're still hungry," said their coach Tony Smith. "We're happy but we're not satisfied. They're ready to step up a gear or two."

It did not take Leeds long to show the difference between the top and bottom of Super League. By the 10th minute, they were ahead by two uncannily similar tries with Ali Lauitiiti supplying the ball twice, Senior making the breaks and Rob Burrow supporting to score twice. Senior's own try midway through the half was simplicity itself. Casleford at least managed a reply after their recently-arrived Australian, Steve Crouch, went over.

That was only a temporary blip as first Marcus Bai, then Walker crossed. There were further tries after the break for Poching and Dunemann, although Castleford got one back through Brad Davis.

Wayne McDonald wrestled his way over before Walker completed his hattrick. Even with Dunemann in the sin-bin, Leeds rounded it off with a second try from Poching and a fourth from Walker. Now, for the play-offs.

Leeds: Mathers, Bai, Walker, Senior, Calderwood, Dunemann, Burrow, Ward, Diskin, McDonald, Adamson, Lauitiiti, Sinfield. Substitutes used: Poching, Bailey, Jones-Buchanan, McDermott.

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

Referee: A Klein (London).

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