Leeds beat Wigan to join Castleford on top

England centre Kallum Watkins celebrated his 200th appearance for Leeds with the all-important try as the Rhinos made it four victories in a row to stay level with English Super League leaders Castleford.

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Watkins’ England team-mate George Williams threatened to ruin the party by scoring two solo tries on the day he confirmed NRL clubs were watching him but the Rhinos did just enough to secure a 26-18 victory in front of 17,030 crowd at Headingley.

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington had promised a review a month after the club’s record 66-10 defeat by Castleford and it is safe to assume that coach Brian McDermott’s job is now secure.

Wigan have now gone three games without a win to drop to fifth but only a fool would write off a successful title defence.

They had Oliver Gildart and Ryan Sutton back from injury but were still without eight members of their best starting 13 and eight of their players were aged 21 or under.

Leeds are on 12 points from eight games while Wigan are on nine points.

Luke Gale brought up a century of tries with a second-half hat-trick as leaders Castleford demolished struggling Huddersfield 52-16.

England half-back Gale has been integral to the Tigers’ impressive start to the season and he continued his fine form with a 24-point haul on his 250th career appearance.

Joel Monaghan helped himself to a treble while Ben Roberts, Jake Webster, Mike McMeeken and Adam Milner all crossed to inflict more misery on a Giants side without talisman Danny Brough.

Huddersfield had taken an early lead at the Jungle through Ryan Hinchcliffe but they could only respond through tries from Ryan Brierley and Lee Gaskell as Castleford racked up 36 points after the break.

The Giants are now five matches without a win and appear set for another season battling against relegation.