Eagles run ends with eight-try humiliation

Sheffield Eagles vs Leigh.'Dejected Eagles Players at the end after their Defeat to Leigh.
Sheffield Eagles vs Leigh.'Dejected Eagles Players at the end after their Defeat to Leigh.
0
Have your say

SHEFFIELD Eagles run of five wins in the Championship came to an end as they were hit for eight tries in the top of the table clash with Leigh Centurions.

SHEFFIELD Eagles run of five wins in the Championship came to an end as they were hit for eight tries in the top of the table clash with Leigh Centurions.

Mark Aston’s team couldn’t get a hold on the game as Leigh, who beat them 68-6 in a Rail Cup game earlier in the season, dominated possession.

“I’m very disappointed – we didn’t compete,” said coach Mark Aston. “We didn ’t give ourselves a chance in the first 40 minutes, we didn’t complete our sets and turned the ball over cheaply.”

Four Eagles fans won a competition to watch the game from a hot tub but they will have been chilled by some of the Eagles defending – particularly in the final minutes before half-time.

A three-try burst sealed the game ensuring Leigh stay three points ahead of Featherstone Rovers at the top of the Championship.

Both teams tried to keep it tight and play out their sets in a tense opening spell.

Eagles put the first points up with a penalty kicked by Simon Brown after Alex Szostak was prevented from playing the ball.

Leigh hit back with Mick Nanyn twisting in at the corner and Dean McGilvray increased the lead with Nanyn adding the goals.

Misi Taulapapa came off the bench, after his delayed return to the Eagles, with ten minutes of the half left and it was plan B with fellow Samoan international Quentin Laulu-Togagaa switching to stand-off.

There wasn’t time for the switch to have effect as Leigh grabbed three tries in five minutes. Martyn Ridyard’s try was confirmed by the video ref, Matty Blythe went in from a quick play the ball and Stuart Littler barged over. Nanyn’s kicking faltered and he failed to convert the last two but Leigh went in at half-time 26-2 ahead and game over.

After the restart the Eagles still struggled for possession but hooker Andrew Henderson provided an attacking spark before Leigh increased their lead with a Tommy Goulden try. Ten minutes from time Eagles gave their fans something to cheer as Alex Szostak collected Menzie Yere’s pass, found a gap in the Leigh line and Laulu-Togagae backing up went in under the posts. Mitch Stringer added the goal.

Leigh kept coming Ridyard and Ellis scored late tries with Nanyn ending with six goals from eight attempts.

Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Mills, Yere, Finigan; Wood, Brown; Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Szostak, Hirst, McDonald. Subs: Taulapapa Rowe, Green, Hepworth.

Tries: Laulu-Togagae, 69. Goals: Brown 1, Stringer 1.

Leigh: Donlan; Evans, Blythe, Nanyn, McGilvray; Ridyard, Ellis; Hill, Duffy, Mills, Littler, Goulden, Taylor. Subs: Maden, Thornley, Govin, Nash.

Tries: Nanyn, 11, McGilvray, 24, Ridyard, 32, 76, Blythe, 34, Littler, 37, Goulden, 66, Ellis, 77. Goals: Nanyn 6/8.

Referee: Matt Thomason

Penalties: 4-5

Attendance: 1,778