Jake Webster’s late try helped Castleford end a three-game losing streak with a thrilling victory against West Yorkshire rivals Leeds.
Tigers, having trailed at the break, edged a see-sawing game with the only points of the second half coming from Webster’s burst and Luke Gale’s goal.
Andy Lynch and Webster had given the Tigers a 12-0 lead inside 13 minutes.
Joel Moon, Kallum Watkins and Tom Briscoe all crossed in reply, but Liam Sutcliffe’s two missed goals were key.
Castleford won both their Super 8s encounters with the Rhinos last season, and enjoyed a third successive derby win here as their opponents fell to their fifth defeat in seven league games in 2016.
The two sides are yet to hit their 2015 form – before kick-off, Castleford had lost three league games this year – and both sides were without key personnel, missing influential halves.
It was testament to both sides that the missing players failed to dampen the quality or intensity of play.
Daryl Powell’s hosts looked to have mastered the arm wrestle with the two early tries, but Leeds showed champion spirit to fight back and lead by two at the half-time hooter.
Both defences were on their mettle in the second half, with last-ditch efforts keeping the scores level, while video referee decisions looked to have denied Castleford when they crossed the stripe.
However, Castleford’s continued pressure was eventually enough to breach the Leeds line, with the powerful Webster crashing though to seal the two points, and continue Leeds’ topsy-turvy start to the campaign.
Castleford head coach Daryl Powell:
“That was more like it. That was the commitment and effort and character and spirit we’ve shown over the last couple of years.
“We didn’t get everything right tonight but we worked hard. For a team that has been rattled a fair bit, it was a magnificent effort. It’s probably the biggest win since I’ve been at the club.
“We’ve been in a really tough place. I asked the players individually for something special and they certainly delivered that. It was a big relief to break the losing cycle.
“There’s been lot of soul-searching this week and the players responded really well. Last week I could see straight away that we weren’t on. This week I could sense we were going to make them fight all the way and to win the game is awesome for us.”
Leeds head coach Brian McDermott:
“I’m disappointed but I don’t have too many issues with the result.
“We were a bit off at the beginning but then we gave it a real go.
“We gave that game our guts and I’m encouraged by a group of men trying their hardest.”
Castleford Tigers: Solomona; Monaghan, Crooks, Webster, Hitchcox; Hampshire, Gale; Lynch, Milner, Boyle, Millington, McMeeken, Massey
Interchanges: McShane, Springer, Maher, Minikin
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker; Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Handley; Sutcliffe, Burrow; Galloway, Falloon, Cuthbertson, Ablett, Ferres, Jones-Buchanan
Interchanges: Lilley, Mullally, Walters, Keinhorst