General ESL 2017

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 30, 2012
7,790
upload_2017-9-25_10-31-55.png


upload_2017-9-25_10-32-27.png


upload_2017-9-25_10-33-18.png
 

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 30, 2012
7,790
Next Year's Super League could be made up of solely Yorkshire and Lancashire clubs if the Catalans go down!

The Championship will be better, though, with a least one French team - maybe 2! - one from London, one from Canada and one from Cumbria.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Miket12

Wellington Warrior

Warriors 1st Grader
May 15, 2012
6,014
Wellington, New Zealand
The crazy owner of Salford is giving up...

Official Club Statement from Dr Marwan Koukash
The club has come a long way during my tenure since arriving in 2013 when it was in a perilous position. This year has seen the club have its most successful season in Super League, not just on the field but off it in the way it has shaped its business and financial position.

Under a young local coach, we have seen a team of quality, proven Super League players finish fourth in the regular season and take part in a closely fought semi-final of the Challenge Cup. Off-field, under the guidance of a former Club player as our CEO, we have managed to reduce the operating losses to 20 percent of those in 2014 which has stabilised the club at this time.

Moving forward I strongly believe that the additional investment in recruitment towards the end of last season, combined with an off season in which the coaches can prepare, we will see the team improve further and genuinely compete for a top four finish and an equally successful Cup run.

I further believe that commercial decisions I have recently taken, combined with the business partnerships and arrangements I have already secured will, with the strong support of the local community who buy season tickets and regularly attend games, means that the club can become self sufficient.

As I have always said, I am merely a custodian of the club, which will always be bigger than any individual who owns it, and will continue longer than any one person can run it. To this end the club, quite rightly, must always belong to the fans and the local community of Salford. I will continue to hold very high regard for our fans and the wider community supporting us and because of this have rejected lucrative offers to relocate or rebrand the club because I have seen that there is an overwhelming passion from the fans to retain the Salford name.

I have now instructed my legal team, subject to RFL approval, to establish a trust to take ownership of the club for the benefit of the fans and the local community of Salford. I will appoint a board of trustees to include local Salford businessmen and a representative of the fans to be elected by the season ticket holders, which will ensure the fans have a prominent voice in the running of the club. I am confident that the new structure at the Club under the guidance of the Trustees will see the Club continue to make progress on and off the pitch.

During my time running the club I have faced many challenges which I have met head on and I, along with my family, have had many great times, creating very fond memories and friendships that will stay with us. I have genuinely grown to absolutely love the game of Rugby League and the Red Devils and still care deeply about it. My decision is nothing to do with the operation of the game or the RFL, with whom during my time I have challenged but also enjoyed a fantastic working relationship, especially during 2017 and they have my ongoing respect. I look forward to joining our loyal supporters and all my friends when i visit in the grandstands at the stadium next season.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mt.wellington

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 30, 2012
7,790
https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-league/41402866

Million Pound Game: Leigh Centurions 10-26 Catalans Dragons

  • 30 Sep
_98088814_tierney_sw.jpg

Lewis Tierney's first try sparked Catalans' fightback from 10-4 down in the second half
Million Pound Game
Leigh Centurions (6) 10
Tries:
Dawson, Clare Goal: Reynolds
Catalans Dragons (4) 26
Tries:
Thornley, Tierney 2, Yaha Goals: Walsh 5
Catalans Dragons scored 22 second-half points to come from behind and win the 'Million Pound Game' to consign Leigh to Super League relegation.

Leigh led 6-4 at the break, with Ben Reynolds converting Matty Dawson's try before Iain Thornley responded.

James Clare added to Leigh's lead with the first try of the second half, but two Lewis Tierney tries helped put Dragons ahead for the first time.


A series of Luke Walsh penalties and late Fouad Yaha try sealed victory.

The 'Million Pound Game' was Catalans' second attempt in as many weeks to extend their stay in Europe's premier rugby league competition, having lost to Widnes a week earlier in a match which saw the Vikings secure their status for another season.

While Leigh owner Derek Beaumont said before the game that it would be "devastating" for rugby league if the French side were relegated, he would have been heartened by the Perpignan club's cautious first-half performance.

Dawson's converted try was just rewards for Neil Jukes' men after making a strong start at Leigh Sports Village, but in a tense first half chances of adding to their lead were limited.

Catalans, a side that had failed to beat Super League opposition away from home for more than five months, were conservative in reply and struggled to stretch Leigh until Thornley crossed in the corner five minutes before the break.

While Walsh failed to level scores with the boot, Steve McNamara's side went into the interval brimming with confidence, thanks to the growing influence of second-rower Justin Horo.

A superb long pass from Josh Drinkwater put Clare over for Centurions' second try, but a combination of poor discipline and fine finishing from Tierney proved Centurions' undoing.

In eight dramatic minutes, Leigh gave away five penalties and the French side racked up 14 points, including two Tierney tries and two Walsh penalties.

The halves combination of Walsh and Richie Myler kept Catalans well in control, with Yaha completing the win late on as Leigh had their second Super League stay ended after just one season.

Leigh Centurions head coach Neil Jukes:

"There are guys in the changing room who are tough men and they're crying.

"There's got to be a way for clubs to get up, but ultimately people lose jobs and that's sickening.

"This was all about not losing a game. The uncertainty surrounding this situation is ridiculous.

"You talk a lot about player welfare and mental health but that comes around job security so this is hypocritical of what we stand for."

Catalans Dragons head coach Steve McNamara:

"We probably produced our best performance of the season under the most extreme pressure.

"There's lots of tears in the dressing room. They're tears of relief. There was a release of a huge amount of tension from everybody involved.

"I thought our players showed huge respect at the end of the game and I was pleased about that."

Leigh Centurions: Hampshire; Dawson, Crooks, Fleming, Clare; Reynolds, Drinkwater; Maria, Higham, Tickle, Paterson, Stewart, Burr.

Replacements: Hood, Hopkins, Hansen, Richards.

Catalans Dragons: Tierney; Duport, Thornley, Wiliame, Yaha; Walsh, Myler; Moa, Aiton, Bousquet, Anderson, Horo, Bird.

Replacements: Garcia, Baitieri, Albert, Margalet.

Referee: Ben Thaler.
 

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 30, 2012
7,790
https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-league/41402996

Super League semi-final: Leeds Rhinos 18-16 Hull FC
By Steve Marshall

BBC Sport

  • 29 Sep
Betfred Super League semi-final
Leeds Rhinos (12) 18
Tries:
Ward, Mullally, Sutcliffe Goal: Watkins 3
Hull FC (6) 16
Try:
Ellis, Fonua, Manu Goal: Sneyd 2
Leeds reached a record-equalling 10th Super League Grand Final by winning a thrilling semi-final against Hull FC.

The Rhinos dominated the early stages and Stevie Ward and Anthony Mullally gave them a deserved 12-0 lead.

Tries either side of the break from Gareth Ellis, Mahe Fonua and Sika Manu saw the Black and Whites edge in front.


But Liam Sutcliffe powered his way over to set up a showdown with Castleford Tigers at Old Trafford on 7 October.

In reaching a 10th Grand Final, Leeds draw level on Old Trafford appearances with St Helens, who were beaten by Luke Gale's dramatic drop-goal in golden-point extra-time in the other semi-final on Thursday.

It also represents a dramatic turnaround in fortunes by Brian McDermott's side, who followed up their historic treble of 2015 by finishing ninth last season and had to earn their Super League place this term through the Qualifiers.

And it denied Hull the chance of completing a double of their own after retaining the Challenge Cup by beating Wigan at Wembley last month.

Leeds say goodbye to key duo
Leeds' victory proved a fitting farewell to Headingley to two club legends, with Rob Burrow retiring at the end of the season to join the club's academy coaching staff while Danny McGuire is joining promoted Hull KR for their return to the top flight.

_98082210_mcguire_rex.jpg

Danny McGuire was playing his last game for Leeds at Headingley
The duo were given a guard of honour before the game, and McGuire played a leading role in Leeds' strong start.

The half-back won a penalty after being tackled on his standing leg after kicking by Liam Watts, which eventually led to Ward brilliantly stretching out of a tackle to score.

McGuire was then at the heart of the Rhinos' second try, creating the space for replacement Mullally to score with his first touch after coming off the bench.

Former Leeds and England forward Ellis, who will now retire after this defeat for Hull, powered over just before half-time to give this visitors hope.

And the Black and Whites looked on course for a first Grand Final since 2006 when Jake Connor put Fonua in at the corner before Manu touched down to give them the lead for the first and only time.

Brad Singleton thought he had put Leeds back in front but was ruled to have been held up over the line, but Sutcliffe was not to be denied as he surged over to finish a fine Leeds move and condemn Hull to a 13th-straight defeat at Headingley.

'It's a massive achievement to get to the Grand Final
Leeds half-back Rob Burrow told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "It's obviously a big event, win or lose, but it's certainly better to go out with a win and get back to Old Trafford.

"It was a close game but I wasn't thinking it might be my last game. There was a desperation to keep them out and we did it.

"I'm lucky enough to have had a great career, playing with some special players and enjoyed some success but it's certainly nice to get to the Grand Final.

"Cas will take some beating next week but we've just got to build on tonight."

Leeds captain Danny McGuire told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "That was a tough game. Credit to Hull, they're a great team and they kept hanging in there.

"I thought we were going to run away with it when we had a couple of opportunities but Hull kept hanging in there and we had to work hard towards the end.

"From where we were last year it's a massive achievement to get to the Grand Final."

Hull FC forward Gareth Ellis told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "It's disappointing. We brought our game in the end but we didn't play well enough in the first half.

"Leeds out-muscled us, we got ourselves back into it, but I'm just disappointed that I won't get to do this again more than anything.

"I've been preparing for it for a few weeks and I felt ready for it but when it happens like tonight it's disappointing."

Leeds: Walker, Briscoe, Watkins, Sutcliffe, Hall, Moon, McGuire, Garbutt, Parcell, Singleton, Ward, Jones-Buchanan, Cuthbertson.

Replacements: Burrow, Ablett, Ferres, Mullally.

Hull FC: Shaul, Fonua, Connor, Tuimavave, Talanoa, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Watts, Manu, Minichiello, Ellis.

Replacements: Griffin, Bowden, Green, Fash.

Ref: Phil Bentham
 

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 30, 2012
7,790
https://www.nwemail.co.uk/sport/bar...-10-6-f13612c1-c487-4d1c-a5c9-4f1c8cd42fb2-ds

PLAY-OFF FINAL: Barrow Raiders promoted after beating Whitehaven 10-6


mainMediaSize=0x480_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

We've done it!: Barrow Raiders celebrate their 10-6 victory over Whitehaven and promotion to the Championship LINDSEY DICKINGS
mainMediaSize=0x480_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

BARROW RAIDERS V WHITEHAVEN --- Barrow Raiders v Whitehaven play off final at Craven Park // Pictured: Barrow celebrate their win Sunday 1st October 2017 LINDSEY DICKINGS




mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg



2 October 2017 9:42AM


A DOUBLE from Shane Toal clinched promotion back to the Kingstone Press Championship for Barrow Raiders as they saw off Whitehaven
10-6 in a tense League One play-off final at Craven Park.

The Raiders were able to bring Martin Aspinwall and Bradd Crellin back into the team after recovering from illness, with Nathan Mossop back on the interchange bench, while both Craig Calvert and Jessie Joe Parker were passed fit to play.

Two penalties allowed Whitehaven to gain some ascendancy in the early stages, although they were unable to make the most of this pressure and a knock-on from McAvoy ended a promising attack.

A strong tackle on Dion Aiye from Joe Bullock led to Whitehaven losing possession and, after advancing up field thanks to two penalties, that was followed by the Raiders striking when Ryan Fieldhouse produced a cut-out pass to send winger Toal racing through for an unconverted try out wide.

The wet weather was making handling difficult for both teams though and both sides came up with knock-ons in key areas, including Declan Hulme knocking on in his own in-goal area and Haven coughing up possession on the resulting attack.

Barrow's task was made harder too when top try-scorer Toal was forced off soon after scoring after suffering a head injury, although he passed the concussion assessment and returned to the field with nine minutes of the first half left.

And there were no further scores before the end of the half, with Brett Carter being forced into touch just metres from the line and at the other end, Haven player-coach Carl Forster knocked on on the last tackle with his close to getting on the board.

Stories you might like to read

Whitehaven were quick out of the blocks when play resumed though and were ahead within five minutes after Dion Aiye chased down a grubber kick from James Newton and Paul Crook slotted over the conversion.

The visitors started to take control after this and had a try from Elliott Miller ruled out for an obstruction in the build-up, but the Raiders regathered their composure and got back on level terms in the 58thminute when Dallimore kicked a penalty following a high tackle on Jarrad Stack.

The match swung back and forth, with Barrow next to have a try ruled out when Eze Harper's pass to Carter was deemed forward, followed by Dallimore hitting the posts with a penalty from over 40 metres out.

Then Whitehaven had another possible score ruled out when Stuart Roper, the drop-goal hero from the previous week's semi-final, was deemed to have knocked on before scoring.

But a lightning attack from Barrow, started by prop Bullock, saw the old combination of Hulme and Toal come together for the former to send the latter over with the game-clinching score nine minutes from time.

Barrow Raiders: Ryan Fieldhouse; Brett Carter, Eze Harper, Declan Hulme, Shane Toal; Jamie Dallimore, Lewis Charnock; Joe Bullock, Karl Ashall, Ollie Wilkes, Jarrad Stack, Bradd Crellin, Martin Aspinwall. Interchange: Nathan Mossop, Dan Toal, James Duerden, Tom Walker.

Whitehaven: Elliott Miller; Craig Calvert, Jessie Joe Parker, Chris Taylor, Jordan Burns; Dion Aiye, Paul Crook; Marc Shackley, James Tilley, Carl Forster, Karl Olstrom, Scott McAvoy, Steve Roper. Interchange: James Newton, Connor Holliday, Tom Holland, Glenn Riley.

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mt.wellington

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 30, 2012
7,790
https://www.nwemail.co.uk/sport/bar...-10-6-f13612c1-c487-4d1c-a5c9-4f1c8cd42fb2-ds

PLAY-OFF FINAL: Barrow Raiders promoted after beating Whitehaven 10-6


mainMediaSize=0x480_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

We've done it!: Barrow Raiders celebrate their 10-6 victory over Whitehaven and promotion to the Championship LINDSEY DICKINGS
mainMediaSize=0x480_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

BARROW RAIDERS V WHITEHAVEN --- Barrow Raiders v Whitehaven play off final at Craven Park // Pictured: Barrow celebrate their win Sunday 1st October 2017 LINDSEY DICKINGS




mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg

mainMediaSize=0x64_x0=_x1=_y0=_y1=_format=_type=image_publish=true_alf_ticket=guest_image.jpg



2 October 2017 9:42AM


A DOUBLE from Shane Toal clinched promotion back to the Kingstone Press Championship for Barrow Raiders as they saw off Whitehaven
10-6 in a tense League One play-off final at Craven Park.

The Raiders were able to bring Martin Aspinwall and Bradd Crellin back into the team after recovering from illness, with Nathan Mossop back on the interchange bench, while both Craig Calvert and Jessie Joe Parker were passed fit to play.

Two penalties allowed Whitehaven to gain some ascendancy in the early stages, although they were unable to make the most of this pressure and a knock-on from McAvoy ended a promising attack.

A strong tackle on Dion Aiye from Joe Bullock led to Whitehaven losing possession and, after advancing up field thanks to two penalties, that was followed by the Raiders striking when Ryan Fieldhouse produced a cut-out pass to send winger Toal racing through for an unconverted try out wide.

The wet weather was making handling difficult for both teams though and both sides came up with knock-ons in key areas, including Declan Hulme knocking on in his own in-goal area and Haven coughing up possession on the resulting attack.

Barrow's task was made harder too when top try-scorer Toal was forced off soon after scoring after suffering a head injury, although he passed the concussion assessment and returned to the field with nine minutes of the first half left.

And there were no further scores before the end of the half, with Brett Carter being forced into touch just metres from the line and at the other end, Haven player-coach Carl Forster knocked on on the last tackle with his close to getting on the board.

Stories you might like to read

Whitehaven were quick out of the blocks when play resumed though and were ahead within five minutes after Dion Aiye chased down a grubber kick from James Newton and Paul Crook slotted over the conversion.

The visitors started to take control after this and had a try from Elliott Miller ruled out for an obstruction in the build-up, but the Raiders regathered their composure and got back on level terms in the 58thminute when Dallimore kicked a penalty following a high tackle on Jarrad Stack.

The match swung back and forth, with Barrow next to have a try ruled out when Eze Harper's pass to Carter was deemed forward, followed by Dallimore hitting the posts with a penalty from over 40 metres out.

Then Whitehaven had another possible score ruled out when Stuart Roper, the drop-goal hero from the previous week's semi-final, was deemed to have knocked on before scoring.

But a lightning attack from Barrow, started by prop Bullock, saw the old combination of Hulme and Toal come together for the former to send the latter over with the game-clinching score nine minutes from time.

Barrow Raiders: Ryan Fieldhouse; Brett Carter, Eze Harper, Declan Hulme, Shane Toal; Jamie Dallimore, Lewis Charnock; Joe Bullock, Karl Ashall, Ollie Wilkes, Jarrad Stack, Bradd Crellin, Martin Aspinwall. Interchange: Nathan Mossop, Dan Toal, James Duerden, Tom Walker.

Whitehaven: Elliott Miller; Craig Calvert, Jessie Joe Parker, Chris Taylor, Jordan Burns; Dion Aiye, Paul Crook; Marc Shackley, James Tilley, Carl Forster, Karl Olstrom, Scott McAvoy, Steve Roper. Interchange: James Newton, Connor Holliday, Tom Holland, Glenn Riley.

Referee: Scott Mikalauskas.

 

Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 30, 2012
7,790
https://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-league/41536394

Grand Final 2017: Castleford 6-24 Leeds Rhinos
By Phil Cartwright

BBC Sport at Old Trafford

  • 7 Oct



McGuire stars as Leeds make Grand Final history
Betfred Super League Grand Final
Castleford (0) 6
Try:
Foster Goal: Gale
Leeds (7) 24
Try:
Briscoe 2, McGuire 2 Goal: Watkins 3 Drop-goal: McGuire 2
Danny McGuire marked his final Leeds game with two second-half tries as the Rhinos eased past Castleford to win a record eighth Super League Grand Final.

Captain McGuire was named man of the match at Old Trafford to bring his 15-year Leeds career to a perfect end before his move to Hull KR for 2018.

Tom Briscoe scored Leeds' other two tries on a wet night as they also said goodbye to the retiring Rob Burrow.


Alex Foster grabbed a late consolation for League Leaders' Shield winners Cas.

His last-minute score meant the Tigers narrowly avoided becoming the first side not to score a point in a Grand Final.

Too many handling errors in slippery conditions proved costly in their first appearance in Super League's showpiece, and contributed to them struggling to reproduce the free-flowing rugby that saw them finish 10 points clear of Leeds at the top of the table.

McGuire also kicked two drop-goals as his display earned him the man of the match award in the Grand Final for the second time in three seasons.

He and Burrow, also featuring in his last match for the Rhinos before joining the coaching staff at the club's academy, are two of only three players to have won the Harry Sunderland Trophy twice in the 20-year history of the Grand Final. The other is their former team-mate Kevin Sinfield.


The perfect farewell
_98220799_leeds_pa.jpg

Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow lifted the Super League trophy after making their final appearances for Leeds
In 2015, legendary Leeds trio Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai bowed out in style with a Grand Final win over Wigan.

The Rhinos said farewell to two more legends in similar fashion on Saturday, with McGuire's contribution key.

Leeds' resolute defence was typified in one first-half moment when, as Super League's leading try scorer Greg Eden seemed destined to touch down in the corner, McGuire made a desperate grab for the ball and it slipped from the grasp of the Castleford full-back.

McGuire's drop-goal in the closing seconds of the first period gave Leeds a seven-point advantage at the interval and he was on the spot to collect the loose ball when Eden lost an aerial challenge with Ryan Hall.

Leeds fans sang McGuire's name lustily late on, and with good reason. He and Burrow have appeared in all eight of the Rhinos' Grand Final wins.

Burrow - who scored arguably the best try in Grand Final history in Leeds' 2011 win over St Helens - came off the bench for the final 15 minutes. As Castleford hopes faded, the pair had the chance to say goodbye in style, combining for McGuire's second and Leeds' fourth try of the contest.

Rhinos recover from woeful 2016
If the domestic treble of 2015 was the stuff of dreams for Leeds, then 2016 was their annus horribilis.

The defence of their Super League title was over before the Super 8s split, and it took a decent run of results in the Qualifiers to guarantee their Super League status.

There have been rocky moments along the way to an eighth Grand Final win - a 66-10 thumping by Castleford in March, for one.

But the Rhinos have an uncanny knack of coming good when it matters, and 2017 was no different.

Tigers fail to roar at Old Trafford
_98220955_cas_woe_getty.jpg

Castleford had beaten Leeds four times during the Super League season
This season will go down as one of the greatest in Castleford's history, despite a painful defeat in the Grand Final.

Their tale in recent years really is one of "rags to riches". As recently as 2013, they were within 30 minutes of extinction.

Off the field, they have become a stable business. On it, under Daryl Powell, they have steadily grown into a team capable of challenging for major trophies.

Adopting an exciting, expansive style, the Tigers have been the dominant force of Super League in 2017 and finished top of the table for the first time in their 91-year history.

Zak Hardaker's omission on Thursday because of a "breach of club rules" could be pointed to as a disruption in the build-up, but in truth Castleford were below the standards they have set throughout the campaign.

Reaction
Leeds Rhinos head coach Brian McDermott told BBC Radio Leeds:

"Proud and excited and pumped - I can't really believe what we've just done. I think the fact that we finished second after last year and got though to the Grand Final was great - to win it was a chapter I don't think anyone thought we would write.

"We've sent some legends out on a win today. We did it for Kevin Sinfield, Kylie Leuluai and Jamie Peacock last time and we've done it again today. I couldn't be any more proud."

Outgoing Leeds Rhinos skipper Danny McGuire told BBC Radio Leeds:

_98220951_mcguire1_getty.jpg

Danny McGuire scored the match-clinching try in Leeds' first Grand Final win against Bradford in 2004
"The lads have been fantastic and deserve a lot of credit. We've had tough times this season but we never stopped believing and we're thrilled to bits.

"We deserved it today - we worked hard for each other and I thought we outplayed a very good Castleford team.

"I'll miss everything about the club and all the boys. It's the start of a new chapter for me next year but I'm definitely going to enjoy tonight."

Castleford coach Daryl Powell:

"I'm massively disappointed that we couldn't build any pressure on Leeds at all.

"I'm disappointed that we didn't do ourselves justice. If we'd been able to do that and got beat, you hold your hands up and say 'fair enough'.

"Leeds didn't see the best of us. They were pretty good, I thought, and massively deserved the win because we were nowhere near."

On the absence of full-back Zak Hardaker: "It was a big disruption. I still thought we had a team out there that could have won the game if we'd played anywhere near our potential, but if you take a player like him out of any team, it's going to be a disruption.

"You take your full-back out two days before the game, and you have one session of preparation - it's clearly not going to help.

"It is what it is. There's absolutely nothing we can do about that."

Castleford: Eden; Minikin, Webster, Shenton, Hitchcox; Roberts, Gale; Massey, McShane, Sene-Lefao, Holmes, McMeeken, Milner.

Replacements: Millington, Moors, Cook, Foster.

Leeds: Walker; Briscoe, Watkins, Sutcliffe, Hall; Moon, McGuire; Singleton, Parcell, Garbutt, Jones-Buchanan, Ward, Cuthbertson.

Replacements: Burrow, Ablett, Ferres, Mullally

Referee: James Child (RFL)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Miket12

Juju

1st Grade Fringe
Nov 9, 2012
2,129
Tomkins missed out of the England squad. Even after Hardaker being suspended for a positive cocaine test...
 

Last Game

27 Aug

16 - 28
5.6 Total Avg Rating
0.0 Your Avg Rating

Highest Rated Player

Lowest Rated Player

Compiled from 5 ratings