Leeds Rhinos’ Zak Hardaker ‘frustrated’ as he addresses win over former side Castleford Tigers

Leeds Rhinos were able to overcome the Castleford Tigers in heartbreaking fashion for Lee Radford’s men in one of the most thrilling ends to a Super League game in 2022.

The Tigers were leading 8-0 with eight minutes to go, but a Rhyse Martin penalty and then a Kruise Leeming try set up a grandstand finish.

Golden point loomed, but Leeds had other ideas and, following a Richie Myler break, Aidan Sezer was on hand to gallop over under the sticks and send the Rhinos to Perpignan next weekend.

For Sky Sports’ man of the match Zak Hardaker, it was a frustrating game.

“It was frustrating, but we turned up so many good opportunities with the ball and we tried to play too much when we didn’t earn the right,” Hardaker said on Sky Sports after the game.

“To get it right at the end there was pretty special. One word that sums it up is frustrating.

“We spoke playing the game not the occasion but it just shows what an occasion does for the team.

“We got in the huddle and said look we play to our strengths we can play really well. We are in the hat for next week and it’s important to go again next week.

“Rohan has instilled that belief in us and about not overplaying our hand. It’s definitely something we will talk about.”

Hardaker was also asked by Sky Sports pundit Jenna Brooks whether it was ‘bittersweet’ coming against former side Castleford.

“It is a little bit but if you go to different teams you try to do your best for the team.

“It’s a Yorkshire derby and I was just wanting to play the game today.”

The Rhinos will now go up against the Catalans Dragons in the south of France next weekend for a place in the semi-finals.

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