In the early stages of the game, the Castleford Tigers found themselves under immense pressure in their defensive line, with the Leigh Leopards launching consecutive sets of attacks. A powerful hit from Faraimo on Leutele on the fourth set left the Tigers with only one tackle remaining. Lam, on the last tackle, kicked the ball dead, allowing Castleford to gain some ground.
Castleford came close to scoring in the 9th minute after a “six again” call gave them an excellent field position. Miller spotted a gap and managed to break through, but unfortunately lost the ball while attempting to ground it.
It was the Leigh Leopards who broke the deadlock in the 17th minute, courtesy of Tom Amone. Lam found a gap and broke through the defence, but his progress was halted by Westerman, denying him a chance to reach the try line. Amone received a well-executed pass from Ipape and crashed over to secure the first points of the game.
Just two minutes later, the Leopards extended their lead through Lachlan Lam. The talented half-back was in the right place to receive a pass from Asiata and dart over the try line.
The situation worsened for the Tigers on the 25th minute when Briscoe easily broke through the defensive line, scoring a try behind the sticks.
Castleford managed to get on the scoreboard at the half-hour mark. A high tackle on Westerman provided the Tigers with valuable territory and their first meaningful attacking opportunity of the game. Riley Dean intelligently kicked the ball through the Leigh line, and Widdop was quickest to react, grounding the ball.
Two minutes before halftime, the Tigers struck again! A penalty was awarded for a late hit on Jacob Miller, giving Castleford a chance to close in on the try line. A well-executed move from right to left, culminating in Edwards’ offload, left an unmarked Wallis with enough space to touch down in the corner.
Widdop successfully converted the try, bringing the first half to a close with the visitors holding onto a slim 6-point lead.
Only 90 seconds into the second half, the visitors increased their lead. A “six again” call in favor of Leigh provided them with a fresh set of tackles. The ball was swiftly passed from left to right, skipping over Leutele and finding Charnley out wide, who scored in the corner.
Nevertheless, the Tigers quickly responded. Leigh’s error in knocking the ball on at the halfway mark led to Castleford gaining possession and receiving a scrum. They capitalised on this opportunity by making significant progress down the field. On the last tackle, they made their move, shifting towards the left edge. Widdop executed a beautiful pass out wide to Wallis, who dove in for his second try of the evening.
After a period of relative calm in the contest, the Leopards managed to break through again just after the 20-minute mark. They shifted play to the left, aiming for Charnley. After colliding with his teammate, the resilient Leigh winger regathered the ball and found his way over the try line.
Seven minutes later, Lam secured his second try of the evening. A gap opened up in the defence, allowing him to scoot his way under the uprights.
With five minutes remaining, Jacob Miller attempted to salvage a consolation try for the Tigers. He received a pass from Widdop and sprinted towards the try line but was stopped just short, causing the ball to come loose. Possession was awarded back to the Tigers, who launched another attack. Elliot Wallis thought he had completed his hat trick, but the officials ruled that he had gone into touch.
In the dying moments of the game, Faraimo made a breakaway after intercepting a pass but was caught just meters away from the try line and dragged into touch, ending the contest.
FULL TIME: Castleford Tigers 16-34 Leigh Leopards