Danny McGuire's marvellous opportunism enabled Leeds to continue their winning start to the season in a pulsating West Yorkshire derby before a crowd of 11,731 at The Jungle, a Castleford club record in Super League.
McGuire, 21, has been given his head this year by the new Leeds coach, Tony Smith, after being used as an impact player off the bench in the past. He completed a sparkling hat-trick as Leeds ran away with the game in the final quarter.
McGuire collected Matt Diskin's pass and ghosted past Ryan Sheridan for the opening Leeds try after only four minutes. But Sheridan, whose release from Leeds in 2002 was partly sparked by the emergence of McGuire and Rob Burrow, played like a man with something to prove as Castleford dominated large spells of a first half played at a punishing pace. Wayne Godwin kicked a penalty and Sheridan, denied by a try-saving tackle by Willie Poching, then kicked to the corner for Ryan Clayton to touch down for a try converted by Godwin.
McGuire was denied a try by a whisker, adjudged offside after a kick by Diskin, before popping up to support a move started by David Furner's superb short pass to Wayne McDonald as Leeds earned a 12-8 lead at the break. But in a game full of bone-shuddering collisions Castleford displayed admirable tenacity, despite losing Godwin to the sin-bin just before half-time. They were denied just before the hour when Ryan Hudson's scoring pass to Clayton was deemed forward.
Leeds took advantage of the let-off. Mark Calderwood's 70-metre run led to Marcus Bai going over for the game-clinching score three minutes later and McGuire was then the linkman in a flowing move that saw Gary Connolly cross before the full-back repaid the compliment by providing the assist for McGuire to complete his hat-trick with an exaggerated swallow dive. Keith Senior completed Leeds's victory charge, Sinfield finishing with five goals.
Castleford: Gibson; Rogers, Maloney, Clayton, Rogers; Rudder, Sheridan; Greenhill, Godwin, Sykes, Smith, Ryan, Hudson. Substitutes used: Thackray, Jackson, Hepworth, Harland.
Leeds: Connolly; Calderwood, Walker, Senior, Bai; McGuire, Burrow; Bailey, Diskin, McDermott, Furner, Poching, Sinfield. Substitutes used: Dunemann, Jones-Buchanan, Ward, McDonald.
Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington).Reuse content