Match report: Sheffield Eagles 26 Halifax RLFC 6

Sheffield Eagles began life back in the Steel City with a 26-6 victory over fellow top four contenders Halifax.

Friday, 12th February 2016, 20:57 pm
Updated Friday, 12th February 2016, 21:05 pm
Sheffield Eagles' Quentin Laulu-Togaga'e passes the ball as Halifax's Gareth Moore closes him down. Picture: Dean Atkins

The Eagles christened their stay at the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park in fine style after a devastating second half blitz which blew away their West Yorkshire counterparts.

It was nip and tuck in the opening stanza, but after the break Mark Aston’s full-time outfit quickly got to grips with their new surroundings in front of a healthy crowd at Bawtry Road.

Aston made one change to the 17 that beat Workington last weekend with Elliot Minchella replacing Steve Thorpe.

In a tight first half it was the visitors who had the better opportunities, but Richard Marshall’s side squandered several golden openings to go in front.

George Tyson’s thundering tackle denied Jacob Fairbank when he looked set for the opening try, and soon after Adam Tangata spilled the ball at the vital moment after Gareth Moore’s piercing run.

The most glaring chance was spurned by Ben Johnston who slipped just before the whitewash after James Saltonstall’s break and pass inside.

The second half was a much livelier affair. Fax thought they had finally made the breakthrough but Ryan Maneely was denied a try after crossing in the build up.

It was another missed opportunity and this time Aston’s side made them pay.

Rob Worrincy, against his former club, fought off several attempts to halt his progress before going over for the first try, but Michael Knowles failed with the conversion.

The Eagles extended their advantage soon after with Worrincy heavily involved again after his pass found Menzie Yere who went over in the corner. Knowles missed the extras.

The glut of tries continued as the Eagles took a firm hold of proceedings. Hewitt’s long kick forward wasn’t dealt with allowing Ben Blackmore to kick towards the whitewash. The scurrying Cory Aston was first to the loose ball to ground between the sticks. Knowles converted.

A stunned Fax outfit found themselves further behind when good work from Quentin Laulu-Togagae paved the way for Worrincy to score his second try, with Knowles expertly converting.

Halifax dusted themselves down and gradually worked their way back into the contest. They were rewarded for their efforts when Will Sharp grounded in the corner after several near misses, and Steve Tyrer kicked the extras.

Any notion of a comeback was quashed when Yere’s bulldozing run punched a hole in the Fax line, and his sublime pass was finished by Minchella for a debut try. Knowles again converted.

The hosts went in search of more points and after a huge kick down-field by Yere, Laulu-Togagae made up the ground to the loose ball but failed to gather under pressure.

The victory made it two from two for the Eagles who travel to Batley Bulldogs next week looking to preserve their 100 per cent record.

Eagles: Laulu-Togagae, Worrincy, Yere, Tyson, Blackmore; Aston, Hewitt; Wheeldon, Carlile, Neal; Knowles, Straugheir; James. Interchange: Fozard, Stringer, Mexico, Minchella.

Scorers: Tries: Worrincy (43, 51), Yere (46), Aston (49), Minchella (70) Goals: Knowles 3/5

Halifax: Johnston, Sharp, Smeaton, Tyrer, Saltonstall; G. Moore, Murrell; Ambler, Kaye, Cahalane; Manning; Barber. Interchange: Tangata, Maneely, R. Moore, Robinson.

Scorers: Tries: Sharp (65) Goals: Tyrer 1/1

Referee: Chris Kendall