Sheffield Eagles got their season underway with winger Scott Turner scoring a hat-trick of tries in a 30-16 win at Swinton Lions.
The Championship titleholders were made to work hard in the first 40 minutes but put the game to bed with a burst of tries midway through the second half.
Coach Mark Aston was happy to take the win after the club’s opening game was postponed last weekend.
“It’s a win. We made it tough and Swinton had a dig but we weren’t great,” he said. “It was one of those games at the beginning of the season when your momentum, fluency and rhythm wasn’t quite there.
“But there were plenty of positives.”
Aston included five new signings -Jon Ford was in at centre with Will Hope in the second row. Gareth Owen was in the subs with Ben Jones and Jack Blagbrough.
Centre Mick Nanyn went in near the corner to give Swinton an early lead.
A well judged kick by Dominic Brambani was collected by winger Scott Turner for his first try with the scrum-half adding the goal to put Eagles ahead.
Two minutes from half-time Lions turned the tables with James Brown going in under the posts. Nanyn added the goal to take a 10-6 lead into the break.
Substitute hooker Owen showed his Super League experience with a dummy following a tap penalty for an opportunist try soon after the restart. Brambani added the goal to take back the lead.
Eagles cut loose with two tries in as many minutes going into the final quarter.
A penalty gave position and centre Ford opened his Eagles account. With almost the next move Quentin Laulu-Togagae’s break and kick sent in Turner for his second try. Brambani added both goals.
Swinton hit back with a try from winger Kevin Penny and Nanyn’s goal but Turner settled the game with his hat-trick try from a grubber kick by stand-off Patch Walker who added the goal.
Eagles: Laulu-Togage; Turner, Yere, Ford, Taulapapa; Walker, Brambani; Scott, Henderson, Stringer, Green, Hope, Knowles. Subs: Owen, Garside, Blagbrough, Jones.
Tries: Turner 15, 57, 77, Owen, 47, Ford 55, Goals: Brambani 4/4, Walker 1/1.
Referee: Warren Turley.