Sheffield Eagles’ Summer Bash experience proved to be an unhappy one after a 46-6 thumping by London Broncos at Bloomfield Road.
The Eagles were taking part in the inaugural event with all 12 Kingstone Press Championship sides in action over a two day event, but it was an experience they will want to forget after being thoroughly outplayed by Andrew Henderson’s London live on Sky Sports.
Director of Rugby Mark Aston was forced into two changes with both Michael Knowles and Kyle Briggs failing to shake off injuries, so there was a recall for duo Cory Aston and Jamie Langley who were both left out of the side that beat Dewsbury on Tuesday night.
It was first blood to the Broncos who took full advantage of a penalty conceded by Mitch Stringer, with their first real attack at the Eagles line. After a clever pass on the inside Elliot Kear crashed over despite the best efforts of Eddie Battye and Wes Naiqama added the extras.
The Londoners continued to make the early running and the Eagles were given a huge let off when Elliot Minchella dropped the ball when reaching for the line.
They weren’t so lucky a minute later when Rhys Williams grabbed a second try for the Broncos. The Eagles, attacking the Broncos’ line, surrendered possession after Sam Smeaton’s pass was intercepted by Williams, who sprinted 90 metres to dive over. Naiqama converted.
It got worse for Aston’s side who leaked a third try inside 15 minutes. Indiscipline by Steve Thorpe gave the Broncos possession, and after a clever kick from Kear, Quentin Laulu-Togagae dithered and Ben Hellewell swooped in to score. Naiqama added the two points.
Two minutes later and Kear this time went from provider to finisher when he completed a flowing move after a pass on the inside from Lliess Macani. Naiqama converted to give London a 24-0 lead.
The only highlight for the Eagles in the opening 25 minutes was Menzie Yere’s burst over the line, but he failed to ground the ball as London repelled the Eagles, first real genuine attempt to score.
London all but sealed the game when Daniel Harrison’s break set the platform for Oscar Thomas to dive over, to leave a beleaguered Eagles chasing shadows. Naiqama missed the conversion.
Sheffield were given some cheer before the interval when Aston showed another example of his burgeoning talent, when from James Davey’s pass he produced a sublime dummy to jink his way to the line. Dominic Brambani converted.
The Eagles finished the first half well but any slim hopes of a recovery were ended after an error strewn start to the second half. Misi Taulapapa’s knock on was severely punished when the Broncos produced another incisive move when Kear’s pass was finished by Thomas for his second try of the game. Naiqama converted.
The Eagles thought they had a consolation score when Quentin Laulu-Togagae went over, but an obstruction by Yere lead to the try being ruled out.
To add insult to injury the Broncos added another score when Brambani’s kick was straight into the hands to Thomas, who sprinted 50 metres to the line to complete his hat-trick. Naiqama added the two points. There was then further punishment when Williams added his second try with an easy score in the corner, and again Naiqama expertly converted.
Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Smeaton, Worrincy, Aston, Brambani, Battye, Carlile, Stringer, Langley, Straugheir, Taulapapa. Interchange: Davey, Davies, Tonks, Thorpe.
Scorers: Tries: Aston (33) Goals: Brambani 1/1
London: Kear; Williams, Hellewell, Naiqama, Macani, Thomas, Gilmore, Lovegrove, Henderson, Thackray, Harrison, Garside, Minchella. Interchange: Nasso, Davis, Wallace, Everett.
Scorers: Tries: Kear (5, 17), Williams (11, 68), Hellewell (14), Thomas (27, 48, 60).
Goals: Naiqama 7/8
Referee: Chris Kendall