Leeds Rhinos fans 'back in love' after Castleford Tigers win but want 80-minute game v Warrington Wolves

Winning at Castleford Tigers was a tonic for Leeds Rhinos after back-to-back defeats by St Helens.
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Rhinos were forced to drop out from their line five times in a scoreless first half and the YEP fans’ panel were impressed with the way the team withstood that pressure and were able to show the attacking mettle after the interval. Not all of them are convinced, but overall our Jury are beginning to believe a good side is emerging at AMT Headingley.

GAVIN MILLER

The problem I have is I really want to love this Leeds team, but at half-time on Thursday night, stood behind the posts soaking wet through having had to endure watching Leeds produce absolutely nothing, I wasn’t in love. However, 40 minutes later I found myself walking down Wheldon Road agreeing with my rugby pals that yes, that was actually all right, a decent second half.

Leeds Rhinos'  Sam Lisone celebrates with fans after the win at Castleford Tigers. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Leeds Rhinos'  Sam Lisone celebrates with fans after the win at Castleford Tigers. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Leeds Rhinos' Sam Lisone celebrates with fans after the win at Castleford Tigers. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
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Cas threw a lot at us in the first half, we soaked it up and professionally produced a second half that gave us two more competition points. I was a little bit in love again. Lachie Miller looked good and I can’t wait to see him on a dry pitch when - everyone tells me - he’ll be very exciting. Brodie Croft is clearly a special player and demonstrated that more than once on Thursday’ I hope his progression continues and we see more of Man of Steel Croft

However, we need to talk about Justin Sangare; he took the ball up just once in seven sets in his 20-minute starting cameo (yes, I was counting). In contrast, Sam Lisone doubled this within three minutes of coming on. Is Sangare being told not to carry the ball? It doesn’t make much sense to me. Onwards to Warrington on Friday, when we really need an 80-minute performance

IAIN SHARP

A notable feature of the 1960s TV show ‘The Addams Family’ was a cloud that hung over their house. Since the conclusion of the show, it has struggled to find work. I’m delighted to report the cloud has found regular work again, by semi-permanently hanging over the Railway End at Wheldon-Hose-Mend-A- Jungle and dishing out another drenching to Leeds fans.

Lachie Miller was the YEP fans' jury's choice as man of the match in Leeds Rhinos' win at Castleford Tigers. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Lachie Miller was the YEP fans' jury's choice as man of the match in Leeds Rhinos' win at Castleford Tigers. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Lachie Miller was the YEP fans' jury's choice as man of the match in Leeds Rhinos' win at Castleford Tigers. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

You can tell the glass half-full fans from those who espouse half-empty. In a scoreless first half the positives suggested that Leeds had blunted and ultimately taken the steam out of the Castleford attack, whilst those of a more negative persuasion blamed the Loiners’ lack of attacking structure for the stalemate.

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After the break, Leeds took their chances and avoided the potential banana skin by putting the game beyond doubt with a brace for both Lachie Miller and Paul Momirovski, who are looking better each week and have styles that bode well for when grounds firm up in the months to come. I’d take any win at Castleford in their annual cup final and onwards to Warrington this Friday.

DAVID MUHL

Rhyse Martin, seen landing a conversion against Castleford Tigers, is Leeds Rhinos fan David Muhl's current favourite player. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.Rhyse Martin, seen landing a conversion against Castleford Tigers, is Leeds Rhinos fan David Muhl's current favourite player. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.
Rhyse Martin, seen landing a conversion against Castleford Tigers, is Leeds Rhinos fan David Muhl's current favourite player. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

They say defence wins games and that was definitely the case on Thursday. In appalling conditions Leeds defended like their lives depended on it in the first half.

As long-time Leeds fans we all know that Leeds teams have the habit of losing games when they are clear favourites, but this side seems to have different ideas. The whole team played well, coped with the loss of Harry Newman and James Bentley and produced a winning second half playing some class rugby.

There were superstars across the park. Sam Lisone played a blinder; two fantastic runs either side of half-time lifted the team and the crowd. Lachie Miller was the outstanding player, showing good skills in both attack and defence. He is quickly becoming a fans’ favourite.

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Luis Roberts had a good game, coping well with the fact Cas targeted him, but my favourite player at the moment is Rhyse Martin; he never takes a backward step and his defence and attack is as good as anyone. And don’t forget his kicking game. He fits well in the centre role and had a solid game.

Castleford certainly raised their game against Leeds, as they always do and it was great to get a win against our local neighbours who contributed to an entertaining game, as did referee Aaron Moore who kept the game flowing, only awarding 10 penalties and one repeat set.

I feel we are in a much stronger position than previous seasons; four wins from six is a good return and Cas were the first team we’ve played that finished below us last season. On to Warrington this week, which will be a hard game. They are playing well under their new coach, but home advantage should play its part and allow the boys to continue their good progress.

BECKY OXLEY

Rivals Round meant a trip to Castleford for the first of this Easter’s bank holiday fixtures. Castleford are yet to win a game this season and were hoping to put that right. As usual, the rain decided to make an appearance, it was a soggy pitch and for the first half we were made to work. We made nearly 200 tackles, but still managed to keep the score to 0-0 at half-time.

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We were certainly working defensively, but in the second half we played some great attacking rugby. Paul Momirovski and Lachie Miller both scored a brace of tries, their first of the season and it felt like things were slotting into place within the team . There is a lot to work on and we need to play for 80 minutes, but hopefully the drier weather is around the corner and we can play the type of rugby we are good at, fast-flowing and expansive.

Social media talk is still calling for Rohan Smith’s head which I feel must have an impact on the coach and the team alike and I’ve had a few disagreements over the last few days. Warrington are up next and I hope for a dry night for once and a good crowd to cheer on the boys and get behind the team. As the song says we are ‘Marching On Together’.

TOM GOLDSWORTHY

On a wet night in Castleford, Leeds proved they definitely have some mental strength about them as they managed to repel and finally defeat their Yorkshire rivals in what proved to be a tough battle. The Tigers were up for it, as they always are in their own cup final and the pressure Leeds were under in the first half was immense.

Eleven errors from Leeds obviously did not help, but to keep Castleford scoreless in the first half shows that there is an improvement already within this team. In the fixture last year at the Jungle we struggled to deal with Castleford's intensity so it was pleasing to see us defend so valiantly and work hard for the two points.

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The deserved man of the match was Lachie Miller and he was superb at both ends of the field. A lot of questions have been raised around Miller’s recent performances, unfairly in my opinion, but he definitely showed he has the quality to be one of the best full-backs in the competition.

His effort in defence in the first half gave us the platform to go on and put the Tigers to the sword in the second half. He was also everywhere in attack and fully deserved his two tries.

The more I watch this new spine gel, the more excited I get that this could be the start of something beautiful. I appreciate that Castleford aren't the best side we will face and we've had minor hiccups against St Helens, but as the season progresses and these star players settle, we will be a force to be reckoned with. It was always going to take time but I'm hoping the players take momentum from this big win at Castleford and really cement their place in the top-six.

Warrington at home is always a tough game, regardless of the form both teams are in. They have been playing some good rugby in their opening games and it will be interesting to see how the Wolves compete without key personnel being available for them. However, I believe the size of their forward pack will be too much for us and it will be a disappointing night at Headingley for Leeds.

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