Super League: Kevin Sinfield sent off as Leeds draw 24-24 with Castleford
Last Updated: 17/07/14 11:52pm
Leeds and England captain Kevin Sinfield was sensationally sent off for the first time in his career as the Rhinos were held to a dramatic 24-24 draw by Castleford in a pulsating derby at Headingley.
Sinfield was shown a red card for an uncharacteristic head-butt on Castleford full-back Luke Dorn eight minutes from the end of a tense and keenly-fought match, with his side leading 24-18.
Castleford took advantage of the extra man to score an equalising try through loose forward Grant Millington two minutes later and, with both sides failing with late drop-goal attempts to break the deadlock, that is the way it stayed.
The point was enough to take Leeds back to the top of the First Utility Super League but the talking point was the dismissal of Sinfield, who was awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to rugby league.
Two opportunist tries from second rower Carl Ablett were the highlight of a high-tempo game that flowed from the first whistle and was marred only by referee Ben Thaler's insistence on over-use of his video assistant.
Castleford drew first blood through skipper Michael Shenton, touching down after his winger Justin Carney had palmed the ball back from Marc Sneyd's high kick, but a knock-on from the re-start by winger Kirk Dixon put his side under pressure.
Rhinos scrum-half Danny McGuire had a try ruled out by video referee Phil Bentham before the home side struck with two tries in quick succession.
Right winger Tom Briscoe outjumped his opposite number Carney to touch down McGuire's towering kick before substitute forward Ryan Bailey scored with his first touch after left-wing pair Ryan Hall and Joel Moon had both kept the ball alive superbly from Sinfield's kick.
Dixon made amends for his earlier error by creating the space for former Leeds second rower Weller Hauraki to go over for an equalising try and the visitors would have been back in front but for some heroics by Zak Hardaker, back from a five-match ban.
First the full-back pulled off a try-saving tackle on Dorn and then forced a handling error from Sneyd over the line.
It seemed whichever side had the ball were destined to score and Ablett was the next to do so, forcing his way past a trio of defenders on a solo run to the line and juggling with the ball before grounding it.
Sinfield kicked his third conversion to make it 18-12 but the scores were tied once more seven minutes before the break when Castleford substitute Nathan Massey proved unstoppable from 10 metres out to score his first try of the season with his first touch.
There was no let-up to the action in the second half as play continued to swing from end to end.
Leeds were indebted once more to Hardaker after he halted a break by Castleford's livewire hooker Daryl Clark and they were relieved to see Carney's try disallowed by Bentham for obstruction in the build-up by Shenton.
When it was the Rhinos' turn to attack, the ever-dangerous Moon was twice bundled into touch by Webster at the corner and prop Kylie Leuluai was held up over the line.,
Leeds had another escape when Millington could only get his finger tips to the ball from Shenton's kick and they were in luck when Ablett scored his second try to regain the lead on 58 minutes.
Moon's grubber kick on the last tackle rebounded off Webster and Ablett twice hacked the ball forward before diving on it just centimetres from the dead-ball line.
Sinfield's fourth goal restored his side's six-point lead and his drop-goal attempt that would have made the game safe was charged down.
It was to be Sinfield's last contribution as he was dismissed for his rush of blood, but there was no end to action.
Two consecutive penalties enabled Castleford to pile on the pressure and it paid off when Millington took Lee Jewitt's pass to charge through a gaping hole in the Leeds defence.
Sneyd kicked his fourth goal to tie the scores and Jamie Peacock and Sneyd both failed with one-point attempts to win it.
First Utility Super League
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield Giants24 - 24Leeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC24 - 20Salford Red Devils
St Helens44 - 4Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan Warriors60 - 0Hull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves22 - 20Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers36 - 28Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Salford Red DevilsvsHuddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red DevilsvsWarrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
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