Rugby League: Sheffield Eagles 16 Keighley Cougars 6

Rugby League: News, reports and more.
Rugby League: News, reports and more.

SHEFFIELD Eagles were thankful for three first-half-tries as they stumbled to a scrappy win over Keighley.

The win lifts the Eagles up a place into third in the Championship ahead of the weekend round of games.

At times the bad-tempered match - which saw the teams share 22 penalties - boiled over with punches thrown.

The Eagles lost their way in a second half that saw the only points scored by Keighley eight minutes from time.

Keighley gifted possession to the Eagles by putting the ball dead from kick-off and compounded it with penalties and errors that saw them facing four straight sets.

Full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae took advantage, sweeping in from a short pass for a try on four minutes. Simon Brown added the goal.

When Cougars finally got the ball, half-backs Sam Obst and Danny Jones almost put Jason Demetriou in before Gavin Duffy was held up over the line.

Keighley were struggling to control the ball and were being outmuscled by the Eagles forwards as they were hit by two tries in eight minutes.

Winger Vinny Finigan took a high cross-field kick by Brown to go over in the corner.

Laulu-Tagagae picked up a loose pass from Jones to weave out of a couple of tackles and race 80 metres for his second try. Brown kicked the first goal but his second hit an upright.

Eagles couldn’t press home their advantage and had to settle for a 16-0 lead at half-time.

Eagles kept up the pressure after the restart with forwards creating the platform for scrum-half Dominic Brambani, the main playmaker, probing the Cougars defensive line.

Keighley’s frustration led to errors and penalties that added to the pressure. When the Cougars did get into the Eagles 20-metre zone they were met by determined defence.

A scuffle around the ruck saw Keighley’s hooker Paul March sent to the sin-bin on 62 minutes.

The game desperately needed a try but it wasn’t until 72 minutes when Cougars substitute hooker Jermaine Wray went in from dummy half under the posts. Danny Lawton added the goal.

The score gave Keighley a bonus point.

* Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Finigan, Turner, Taulapapa, Morrison; Brown, Brambani; Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Knowles, Scott. Szostak. Subs: Green, Davey, Scott, Hepworth, Higgins.

* Keighley: Moss; Duffy, Barnett, Lawton, Tadulala; Jones, Obst; Sheriffe, March, Cherryholme, Demetriou, Shepherd, Hatthornewaite. Subs: Wray, Pursglove, Korkidas, Shickell.

* Referee: Matt Thomason.

* Attendance: 854.