Sheffield Eagles mauled by eight-try Bulls

Corey Aston scored Eagles' second try. Photo: Dean Atkins
Corey Aston scored Eagles' second try. Photo: Dean Atkins

Sheffield Eagles fell to their heaviest defeat of the season, a 46-12 demolition by Bulls at Odsal.

Mark Aston’s side were blown away by an inspired Bradford outfit who ran in eight tries to increase their lead over Eagles in the table to four points. There was little to cheer for Eagles supporters after an uncharacteristic display, not helped after losing scrum-half Dominic Brambani early on through injury.

Director of Rugby Aston was boosted by the news that former Bulls ace Jamie Langley was fit to face his old club. Pat Walker also returned, but there was no place for Kyle Briggs or the injured Misi Taulapapa.

Bradford opened the scoring on seven minutes when Dale Ferguson breached the Eagles defence after Adam O’Brien was brilliantly held up. Danny Addy converted.

Indiscipline was costing Eagles who conceded two needless penalties before Bulls grabbedtheir second try on 22 minutes. After desperate defending close to the line Eagles were eventually powerless to stop Tom Olbison from scrambling over, with Addy kicking the extras to open a 12-point gap.

It was an uncharacteristic opening from the Eagles who failed to threaten the Bradford line. Bulls took a firm grip on the game with two tries in four minutes. Etu Uaisele was the benefactor of a sublime piece of skill by Adam Henry before touching down in the corner, and following Addy’s conversion Danny Williams produced another score as Eagles started to look ragged. But Addy failed to add the extras.

Eagles started the second half on the front foot but Bulls repelled early pressure and quickly found their feet again. Eagles’ usually water-tight defence was breached with Ferguson adding a second try, again converted by Addy.

Adam Sidlow squeezed over to put the game well and truly to bed, and a minute later Henry was the grateful recipient of a pass following a devastating run by O’Brien, allowing an easy score. Addy converted both tries.

Eagles did muster a consolation try when Scott Turner galloped over with 12 minutes remaining after a sweeping pass from Cory Aston. Michael Knowles added the extras.

Aston gave Eagles supporters some further cheer when he finished a darting break by scoring under the posts. Knowles converted but the hosts’ Adrian Purtell dived over in the corner, with Addy again converting.

Bulls: Mullaney; Williams, Purtell, Henry, Uaisele, Gaskell, Addy, Clough, O’Brien, Sidlow, Olbison, Ferguson, Pitts. Interchange: Shaw, Mellor, Lauaki, Fleming. Tries: Ferguson (7, 49), Olbison (22), Uaisele (32), Williams (36), Sidlow (61), Henry (62), Purtell (80) Goals: Addy 7/8

Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Smeaton, Worrincy, Aston, Brambani, Thorpe, Davey, Stringer, Knowles, Langley, Walker. Interchange: Carlile, Davies, Battye, Tonks. Tries: Turner (68), Aston (76). Goals: Knowles 1/1. Attendance: 4,847.