Rugby League: Leeds stunned by late fightback

Click to follow
Castleford 30 Leeds 30

Castleford, languishing at the bottom of the Super League, staged a dramatic late fightback to earn a point against second-placed Leeds at Wheldon Road yesterday.

Tigers were 30-18 down with eight minutes left, but salvaged a draw through late tries from full-back Jason Flowers and substitute Danny Orr, both converted by Lee Crooks.

Castleford had got off to a fine start and were 8-0 up after 10 minutes. Stand-off Graham Steadman scored the opening try by weaving through from 10 yards and Crooks added his second goal.

Leeds narrowed the gap to two points in the 15th minute when Anthony Farrell powered over from 45 yards and Iestyn Harris kicked the conversion.

Graham Holroyd landed a penalty goal to level the scores before the Rhinos charged ahead after 28 minutes. The former Castleford centre Richie Blackmore forced his way over and four minutes later supplied a lovely pass to send Paul Sterling in to make it 18-8.

Leeds went further ahead early in the second half when Harris sent Adrian Morley in for a try, but Tigers got back into the match with two tries in seven minutes from recent signing Jason Critchley, which cut the deficit to six points.

Leeds looked to have secured victory when Harris sent Barrie McDermott through for a 70th-minute try and Harris kicked the goal to give the Rhinos a 12-point advantage.

Then came Castleford's late revival, which began when Orr put Flowers over and was completed when Orr scored himself four minutes later. Harris put a late drop-goal attempt wide.

Hull, the First Division leaders, remained on course for promotion to the Super League after winning 26-18 at Swinton yesterday. Tevita Vaikona helped Sharks to an 18-10 lead at the break with a hat-trick of tries, while Mark Hewitt kicked three goals. Lions answered with tries from Mark Riley, Jim Evans and Davide Longon, but Hull made the game safe with two more Hewitt goals and a late try from Andy Fisher.

Second-placed Huddersfield stayed five points behind the leaders after they won 28-18 at Whitehaven. Ikram Butt scored a try seven minutes from time and Garry Schofield dropped a goal almost on the hooter.

Wakefield were beaten 19-10 in the West Yorkshire derby at Dewsbury after Rams ran in two second-half tries from Matt Bramald and Shane Williams, while Featherstone won 27-10 at Hull KR.

Second Division title chasers Rochdale and Carlisle both suffered heavy defeats, a 21-6 defeat at Lancashire Lynx being only the second time Rochdale have been beaten this season.

Leigh beat Hunslet 13-12 to push themselves back into contention for promotion, while Doncaster climbed off the bottom of the table above Prescot with a 21-20 victory over the Panthers.