Rugby League: Sluggish Eagles benefit from half-time rollocking

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Swinton Lions 20

SHEFFIELD Eagles produced a second half masterclass in try scoring to clinch their second win of the season.

After struggling to find their rhythm they face some harsh words from coach Mark Aston at half-time.

“We weren’t great in the first half; we looked rushed and I told the lads,” said Aston. “What we needed was that bit of confidence and high tempo rugby and when we did that we got what I wanted.”

Centre Tom Armstrong, on his return to his former club, and half-back Dominic Brambani both scored two tries as the Eagles recovered from a forgettable first half.

Swinton included three dual reg loan signings from Warrington and five players who were with the Super League club last season.

The Lions took the lead with Ryan Shaw to touching down under the posts before adding the goal.

With 12 minutes of the half left the Eagles put together a telling move with forward Peter Green bustling through a couple of challenges before Brambani reached out to get the ball over the line. The talented scrum-half converted his try.

Swinton edged ahead with a penalty for an 8-6 lead at the break.

Eagles were hit by a sucker punch two minutes after the restart as second rower Ben Currie went in for a try. Shaw added the goal.

Eagles response was swift with two tries in as many minutes. Another blasting run from Green and Pat Smith provided the final short pass for Michael Knowles to go over.

A break by Duane Straugheir wrong footed Swinton and Armstrong took the pass to score. Brambani added the goals to put the Eagles ahead for the first time.

Prop Jack Howieson crashed over for a try from Smith’s pass and hooker Andrew Henderson scooted in from 20 metres.

Matt Garside on his debut squeezed in at the corner before an interception try by Currie gave Swinton brief hopes of a losing bonus point.

Armstrong second try resumed the Eagles onslaught before Mitch Stringer and Green combined to send in Brambani.

In the final minutes, Laulu-Togagae’s break and inside pass gave Smith the Eagles ninth try and brought up 50 points. Brambani finished with eight goals from nine attempts.

SWINTON: Richie Hawkyard, Burke, Shaw, Clarke, Ballard; Mendieka, Watson; Morrison, Dwyer, Holland, Currie, Bridge, McCarthy. Subs: Mark Smith, Mills, Darren Hawkyard, Barlow.

EAGLES: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Armstrong, Taulapapa; Pat Smith, Brambani; Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Knowles, Green, Szostak. Subs: Davey, Roche, Straugheir, Garside.

REFEREE: Gareth Hewer.