Two 9s, lots of 8s in Peter Smith's Leeds Rhinos player ratings from 26-6 derby win at Castleford Tigers

Wait ages for a try and then two come along at once. Imports Lachie Miller and Paul Momirovski both bagged a brace - their first scores for the club - as Leeds Rhinos romped to a 26-6 derby win at Castleford Tigers tonight.

In tough conditions on a heavy pitch, Rhinos won it with a superb defensive display in the first half, followed by some clinical finishing in the second. It was a highly professional performance.

The first 40 minutes ended scoreless, the fourth time in as many games Leeds have failed to register a point in one of the halves. Castleford’s Danny Richardson hit a post with an early penalty, but almost constant pressure from Tigers produced just one real opportunity, in the final minute of the half, when Sam Hall spilled Jacob Miller’s kick between Leeds’ posts.

Castleford did almost all the attacking, forcing five drop-outs. They threw a lot at Rhinos, but the visitors’ defence stood up magnificently to keep their line intact. Leeds scored within two minutes of the restart and were in control after that.

The breakthrough came when Brodie Croft kicked to the right, Innes Senior couldn’t make the catch and Momirovski touched down the loose ball. Rhinos increased their lead on 52 minutes. Jarrod O’Connor and Croft worked the ball to James McDonnell, he split the defence and turned the ball inside to send Momirovski in for his second.

Martin converted both and landed a penalty when Richardson booted a drop out into touch on the full. With 17 minute left Matt Frawley’s kick was tapped back by Ash Handley and Lachie Miller picked up to cap an excellent display with a try.

With 10 left Josh Simm scored a consolation try for Tigers, from a kick by Richardson who added the extras. It was no more than Castleford’s effort deserved, but Rhinos had the last laugh when O’Connor sent Croft into a gap and Lachie Miller was in support to cross for the final try. Martin added his fifth goal to complete the scoring in front of a crowd of 9,026.

On the negative side for Leeds, second-row James Bentley failed a head injury assessment ruling him out of next week’s visit of Warrington Wolves. It was initial though Harry Newman had suffered the same fate after he failed to return following an hia, but news afterwards was he had passed that, but needed hospital treatment for a badly cut lip.

Rhinos were without prop Tom Holroyd because of an elbow injury suffered last week against St Helens, in an incident when he was pushed into advertising boards by Daryl Clark and both players were sin-binned. Here’s how the Rhinos players rated.

The penalty count finished six-four in Rhinos’ favour (2-2 in the first half). There was only one set restart, to Castleford and refereee Aaron Moore hanbdled the game well.

Castleford Tigers: Broadbent, Simm, Hodson, Wood, Senior, Richardson, J Miller, Watts, McShane, Lawler, El-Zakhem, Mellor, Westerman. Used subs Horne, Hall, Vete. Unused Johnson.

Leeds Rhinos: L Miller, Roberts, Newman, Momirovski, Handley, Croft, Frawley, Oledzki, Ackers, Sangare, Bentley, Martin, Smith. Subs Lisone, O’Connor, McDonnell, Goudemand.

Referee: Aaron Moore (Wigan). Attendance: 9,026.

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