Featherstone 28 Sheffield Eagles 16: Third defeat on trot for Aston’s men

Rob Worrincy  scored Eagles' first try
Rob Worrincy scored Eagles' first try

Sheffield Eagles slipped to their third consecutive league defeat after two late tries secured Featherstone Rovers a 28-16 victory.

For the second time this season Eagles were wounded by a former favourite as Kyle Briggs scored the decisive try, as Mark Aston’s side succumbed late on in what a tight contest at Post Office Road.

Jamie Cording’s late score ended any hopes of a comeback, as the Eagles started their Bank Holiday away double-header with a defeat.

In a see-saw first half Featherstone were handed the early initiative after an error from Quentin Laulu-Togagae, which eventually resulted in try for former Eagle Misi Taulapapa. Briggs missed the conversion.

The Eagles responded quickly with two unanswered scores to parachute them into the lead. After Ben Blackmore was held just short, the attack was switched to the left and Rob Worrincy dived over in the corner, but Michael Knowles missed a tough kick. Then an incisive Blackmore break was finished off by Laulu-Togagae and Knowles kicked the extras.

Featherstone hit back with Andy Ellis spinning over the whitewash from dummy half to score, but Briggs failed with the extras.

After Briggs had levelled with a penalty, the Eagles then lost Blackmore to the bin after an altercation with Taulapapa.

The hosts re-took the lead through Cording’s first try which Briggs converted, but the Eagles levelled again before the interval. Keal Carlile powered over the line after a razor-sharp sprint from dummy half, and Knowles slotted the kick to make it 16 apiece.

After six tries in the first half, both side’s defences tightened in the second stanza. With the scores level, the Eagles passed up two opportunities to kick for goal as they went in search of the first score of the second half.

At the other end Featherstone looked almost certain to score but Ian Hardman spilled the ball at the vital moment.

With the game in the balance, Briggs had to be alert close to the whitewash after he dropped on Cory Aston’s inviting kick on the last.

With just over 10 minutes remaining the Eagles were penalised for offside, and Briggs needed no second invitation to take the two points on offer which edged the home side into the lead. He took another two points soon after after the Eagles conceded another penalty to give Fev a four point cushion.

Briggs again was on hand to punish his former club with four minutes remaining when he sprinted over for the crucial score, but he failed with the extras.

It didn’t matter as Laulu-Togagae failed with an interception, and Cording forced his way over to add gloss the scoreline.

Featherstone: Hardman, Johnson, Tagg, Taulapapa, Turner; Briggs, Craven; Griffin, Ellis, Bostock; Cording, Davies; Spears. Interchange: Ormondroyd, Achurch, Baldwinson, Roche.

Scorers - Tries: Taulapapa (3), Ellis (17), Cording (32, 80), Briggs (76) Goals: Briggs 4/8

Eagles: Laulu-Togagae, Worrincy, Yere, Straugheir, Blackmore; Aston, Hewitt; Thorpe, Carlile, Neil; Knowles, Wheeldon; Fozard. Interchange: Jacks, James, Minchella, Stringer.

Scorers - Tries: Worrincy (7), Laulu-Togagae (11), Carlile (37) Goals: Knowles 2/3

Referee: Michael Woodhead

Attendance: 2,052