Leeds coach Brian McDermott paid tribute to former England captain Jamie Peacock after he laid the platform for his side's 22-14 win at Castleford which consolidated their place at the top of the First Utility Super League.

The 36-year-old prop stayed on for the full 80 minutes after three times refusing to be substituted and was still going strong at the end.

"I attribute that win to three people," McDermott said. "JP takes all the bullets off everybody and Maggs (Danny McGuire) and Kev (Sinfield) just marshall the troops. Without them, I'm not sure how that game looks.

"I tried to take JP off three times but he just turned round and said 'no'. I need help. Does anybody dare tell JP to come off. I cringe when I tell young Chris Plume to go on and say to JP he's got to come off."

The Rhinos twice trailed after Castleford scored tries through Kirk Dixon and Marc Sneyd to lead 14-12 at half-time but defended heroically to keep their hosts scoreless in the second half.

Leeds' tries came from three-quarters Kallum Watkins and Ben Jones-Bishop, but McDermott preferred to praise the work of his forwards for creating the scoring opportunities.

"The game's about putting those fellas on a platform to be able to play," McDermott said. "Our forwards need a huge amount of credit for that.

"I thought it was a very good performance. It looked a little different to what we've done so far this year. Clearly the wet and the conditions hampered both teams.

"We had to dig that one out. Castleford have some potency. They still punched a couple of holes in us and they kept on probing so it's pleasing to keep somebody who has scored a lot of points down to two tries."

McDermott conceded that the Tigers' short turnaround, having lost to Huddersfield last Sunday, had put them at a disadvantage.

"It probably will have taken some juice out of them, especially late in the game," he said.

The eight-point defeat was Castleford's heaviest of the season and coach Daryl Powell remains proud of his players' efforts.

"We made too many errors in the second half and we just lost our way a bit," he said. "We looked a bit tired in the second half, it looked like a Sunday-Thursday turnaround.

"We couldn't build any sustained pressure on Leeds.

"We're learning some harsh lessons at the moment and if we learn them we should come out stronger.

"We're in the battles every week and tonight we weren't far away, but I thought Leeds deserved to win the game. They were pretty professional."