Super League: Castleford Tigers 6-26 Leeds Rhinos - Visitors extend Tigers' winless start

First try
Paul Momirovski's opening try was his first for Rhinos [PA Media]

Betfred Super League

Castleford (0) 6

Try: Simm Goal: Richardson

Leeds (0) 26

Tries: Momirovski (2) Miller (2) Goals: Martin (5)

Paul Momirovski's first Super League tries helped Leeds Rhinos extend Castleford's winless start to the season to six matches.

After a scoreless, but entertaining, opening half, the Australian reacted first to Brodie Croft's cross-field kick at the start of the second period.

The ex-Sydney and Penrith centre ran in a second score shortly afterwards, with Lachie Miller adding two more tries.

The Tigers could only manage a late consolation try from Josh Simm.

Leeds move up to fifth, level on points with all four teams above them ahead of the rest of the weekend's games.

Castleford remain second bottom, only above London Broncos on points difference, after their worst start to a Super League campaign in 20 years.

The hosts threatened to start Rivals Weekend with a big shock, edging the first half with greater defensive intensity and exciting attacking sets.

It was a thrilling opening 40 minutes, not deserving of a rare pointless half.

However, Leeds opened the scoring right after the break, Momirovski reacting instinctively to dot down after a mistake in the Tigers defence.

The second was more orthodox, with the centre finding space on the right wing to storm home to the right of the posts.

Castleford's intensity dropped after that second score, their guile and determination running out as Miller latched on to another defensive mistake to add a third try.

Simm's score briefly hinted at a late comeback, but Miller capped off a fine individual display by scoring his second try, after Croft had broken the line in centre field.

Leeds full-back Lachie Miller told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra:

"It was a really tough night. In that first half they played the conditions really well and kept us in our corner. I think we had six or seven drop-outs in a row.

"But we had talked about starting games with intent and maintaining it, and in that first half our defence was outstanding. That is what won us the game.

"It's a new spine, a new team and it's not going to happen straightaway, we are well aware of that. But we have been working really hard and I think we can start hitting our stride when it matters.

"We have got a really good bunch of people and with the culture we are building, we love each other like brothers. That is going to stand us in good stead."

Leeds head coach Rohan Smith on Lachie Miller:

"I thought his play selection in attack was amazing, he was everywhere the ball was. He can beat the first bloke anytime he wants, but sometimes he tries to beat the next bloke, and the next.

"Today he was running hard, looking to break tackles. His defensive work in the first half allowed us to get the ball in attack later in the game."

Castleford head coach Craig Lingard told BBC Radio Leeds:

"I'm frustrated, I thought we played really well in the first half, in how we defended and controlled the ball, but we lacked cutting edge.

"A try would have given us the lift to go again. We were camped down there for a few sets but we didn't have the quality to get over the line.

"We had a really poor first few minutes to the second half, and if you switch off, a team like Leeds will punish you.

"We've got to be as up for Salford next week as we were tonight in the first half. We're still searching for the first win, and with improved execution, and the same effort, it might be a different story."

Castleford: Broadbent, Simm, Hodson, Wood, Senior, Richardson, Miller, Lawler, McShane, Watts, El-Zakhem, Mellor, Westerman.

Interchanges: Horne, Hall, Vete, Johnson.

Leeds: Miller, Roberts, Newman, Momirovski, Handley, Croft, Frawley, Oledzki, Ackers, Sangare, Bentley, Martin, Smith.

Interchanges: Lisone, O'Connor, McDonnell, Goudemand.

Referee: Aaron Moore