Leeds Rhinos 12 Castleford Tigers 52: Five talking points from last night’s defeat

Leeds Rhinos players show their frustration last night.

Leeds Rhinos players show their frustration last night.

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Leeds Rhinos suffered their 13th defeat in 16 competitive games this year when they were embarrassed 52-12 by Castleford Tigers at Headingley.

The latest setback leaves Rhinos bottom of First Utility Super League and almost certainly heading into the Qualifiers when the competition splits after 23 rounds.

Here are five talking points from the game.

1) It’s hard to remember a worse night for Rhinos in the summer era, even during the disastrous 1996 campaign when they had a weaker squad and the club was in dire straits financially.

2) It was an excellent Castleford performance. They were everything Rhinos were not: fast, clinical, spirited, enthusiastic and determined in defence.

3) Thursday was Castleford’s highest score at Headingley. Home games in which Leeds have conceded more points were: 58-2 v Queensland in 1983, 56-18 v Bradford Bulls in 1996, 54-3 v Bradford in 1945 and 54-16 v Warrington in 1986.

4) Injuries and the loss of their training facility have been widely blamed for Rhinos’ poor form this year. Three players have returned in the last two games and the gym and 3g pitch at Kirkstall are now open, but team performances have got worse.

5) The impression coming out of the club is they have a ‘carry on and hope for the best’ strategy. That is not going down well with fans, who voiced their anger during Thursday’s game and on social media since.

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