THEIR 11-TRY, 60-6 win at Castleford Tigers has provided Leeds Rhinos with exactly the shot of confidence they needed after a poor start to the season, goal kicking forward Rhyse Martin says.
Before travelling to Wheldon Road, Rhinos had managed a total of only 90 points in seven Super League fixtures and hadn’t scored more than two tries in the competition since beating Wakefield Trinity in round one.
Having failed to make the most of a huge amount of possession against Hull five days earlier, doubts had been raised over the potency of Leeds’ attack, but those were answered in style.
“It will really help with our confidence,” Martin said of Leeds’ biggest away win since 2009.
“We have really been struggling to put points on the board, but it gives us that bit of confidence, knowing we can score tries.
“We were scoring on all sides of the field, left-side, right-side, down the middle – it was just a really great team performance, one of the best I have been part of with the club.”
Most of Leeds’ games this year have been tight, with only Wigan Warriors and Hull KR having beaten them by more than two converted tries.
For the majority of their defeats, Leeds were in the contest until the end and Martin insisted he was not surprised by the manner in which they cut loose against Castleford.
“We’ve been in games this year and not found that last pass, that last option, but our effort has been outstanding,” he said. “We knew we weren’t far off getting a win like that, but I’m just really happy we performed pretty much to what we are capable of.”
Castleford were without a host of senior players and coach Daryl Powell accused his players of being distracted by this weekend’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Warrington Wolves.
Even so, the home team got off to a flying start when Jordan Turner touched down after just 87 seconds, but Leeds hit back almost immediately and were 10 points ahead by the end of the opening quarter.
Martin felt the way they refused to be rattled by conceding so early was another positive,along with restricting the opposition to six points.
He observed: “That has been our saving grace at the start of the season, our defence.
“Some games we’ve not been great with the ball, but in defence everyone turns up for each other and puts in the hard work and that’s why scores in our games haven’t blown out.
“It is really good to build on that defence and not let one try faze us.”
Meanwhile, Castleford will be without forward George Griffin for Saturday’s semi-final.
The RFL’s match review panel issued a one-match penalty notice after charging him with grade B dangerous contact in the fourth minute of last Friday’s defeat.
His team-mate Danny Richardson was cautioned for dangerous contact against Leeds, but avoided a ban.
Wakefield Trinity’s Matty Ashurst received a two-match penalty notice for a grade C dangerous throw during Sunday’s 38-12 victory over Huddersfield Giants.
Giants’ James Gavet was handed a one-match penalty notice for raising a knee in a tackle.
Leigh’s Ben Reynolds will serve a one-match ban this weekend for with grade B tripping in the defeat at Hull KR last Sunday.
Catalans Dragons’ Joel Tomkins will appear at a disciplinary hearing after being charged with grade D punching against Wigan Warriors on Saturday.
Wigan’s Zak Hardaker received a two-match penalty notice for a grade C butt.
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