Tough start for Sinfield as Tigers beat Leeds
|Betfred Super League|
|Castleford Tigers (16) 42|
|Tries: Eden, Laulu-Togagae, Cook, Trueman 2, Sene-Lefao 2 Goals: Ellis 7|
|Leeds Rhinos (10) 10|
|Tries: Briscoe 2 Goals: Sutcliffe|
Kevin Sinfield suffered a heavy West Yorkshire defeat against Castleford in his first game in charge of struggling Super League champions Leeds.
The former Rhinos captain, who replaced Brian McDermott on Friday, oversaw Leeds’ eighth straight league defeat, which left them ninth in the table.
Tom Briscoe twice put Leeds ahead, but Castleford led 16-10 at the break.
Teenager Jake Trueman then scored two tries and created two for Jesse Sene-Lefao to inspire Tigers to victory.
The win lifted Daryl Powell’s Castleford side up to third in the table, with Leeds ninth, two points below Huddersfield Giants with three regular season matches remaining.
Tries from the fit-again Greg Eden, Quentin Laulu-Togagae and Matt Cook were enough to edge the hosts ahead in a fast-paced, high-quality and draining first-half.
After the interval, Trueman wreaked havoc on a Rhinos side that are fighting to avoid playing for Super League survival via the Qualifiers.
Losing captain Stevie Ward to injury early in the second-half robbed the visitors of one of their biggest influences and left Sinfield short of an on-pitch leader in a increasingly trying situation.
Defeat marked the end of a week of upheaval at Headingley, which began with McDermott being sacked after eight years in charge and led to illustrious former captain Sinfield being named as his successor on Friday.
While his coaching debut came at short notice and against a fierce near neighbour – who Leeds beat in last year’s Grand Final – the 37-year-old was at least afforded the ideal start as Briscoe grabbed the game’s first points in the third minute.
Eden, Super League’s top try-scorer last season, then quickly marked his return from a hamstring injury with Tigers’ response, and Laulu-Togagae and Cook sandwiched Briscoe’s second score.
Trueman began to impose himself on proceedings before half-time and the teenage half-back went on to star after the interval as Castleford pulled clear.
Castleford Tigers: Laulu-Togagae; Clare, Webster, Shenton, Eden; Ellis, Trueman; Watts, McShane, Sene-Lefao, Moors, Millington, Milner.
Replacements: Holmes, Massey, Cook, Clark.
Leeds Rhinos: Golding; T Briscoe, L Sutcliffe, Moon, Hall; Lilley, Myler; Oledzki, Parcell, Singleton, Ward, Ferres, Cuthbertson.
Replacements: Walters, Walker, Mullally, Delaney.
Referee: Liam Moore.