Sheffield Eagles 48-26 Swinton Lions – Match Report

Sheffield bounced back from last weeks defeat to Batley in a high scoring affair with newly promoted Swinton Lions.

There were first Eagles tries for Ben Blackmore, George Tyson and Scott Wheeldon inside the first half. Quentin Laula-Togagae also scored for Sheffield whilst Chris Atkin was the lone Swinton scorer before the break.

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Eagles debutant – Rhys Jacks

 

A second-half brace from Cory Aston, a second from Blackmore as well as tries from Menzie Yere and Mitch Stringer confirmed victory for the home side. Greg Scott scored twice for Swinton in the second-half along with tries from Shaun Robinson and Macauley Hallett however the Lions were always at least three-tries behind.

Mark Aston awarded a debut to new signing Rhys Jacks who joined the Eagles midweek. Rob Worrincy returned to replace Garry Lo who picked up a wrist injury last week against Batley. Matty Fozard missed out for Sheffield through illness.

Swinton coach John Duffy named the same 17 that had lost 16-48 to Bradford Bulls last weekend.

It was a poor start from Sheffield who conceded after just three minutes. An Eagles pass went to ground and Swinton’s Atkin was quickest to react scooping up the ball and racing thirty metres. He successfully converted his try to give the visitors a 6-0 lead.

Atkin continued to cause Sheffield problems but the Eagles got themselves level against the run of play. Hooker Keal Carlile picked up a loose ball before finding Blackmore who finished in the corner. Knowles converted.

Sheffield began to find their rhythm as Tyson scored his first try for the home side. He dummied before stepping through the defence to score. With ten minutes of the first half prop-forward Wheeldon powered his way over to extend the Eagles lead.

However Sheffield weren’t done yet. Some good off-the-cuff play from the Eagles allowed Yere to break before passing inside to an onrushing QLT who finished with ease. Knowles slotted the conversion and it was Sheffield 22-6 Swinton at the interval.

In similar fashion to the first half it took just three minutes for the first try but this time it went to Sheffield. The Eagles had been held up and awarded another set which allowed Yere to bundle his way over near the touchline. This didn’t stop Knowles who successfully converted.

Swinton soon replied though as Shaun Robinson managed to burrow his way under the incoming defenders to score out wide. Atkins converted from the touchline.

But Sheffield restored their three-try lead just moments later. QLT collected a deep kick before weaving his way through the chasing defence. The full-back found Yere who didn’t have the pace to make the line but he did find Aston in support who went in under the sticks. Knowles converted an exquisite try.

Mark Mexico was a handful for Swinton all evening and the big Papua New Guinean managed got himself an assist. His offload just two yards out found Aston who placed the ball down unchallenged. Knowles again converted.

The visitors weren’t done yet though scoring two tries in three minutes. Firstly winger Scott managed to slide his way through the defence before his centre Hallett also forced his way over. This put Swinton back within 18 points of Sheffield.

Blackmore grabbed his second of the evening with then minutes left as he picked up a stray ball before turning and making it to the corner. Scott scored in almost identical fashion to his first for the Lions towards the end. However Sheffield had the final say as Stringer powered his way over from close range. Knowles converted with virtually the last touch of the game.

The victory now means Sheffield have won three of their opening four Championship games this season and sit in 1st place however this could only be temporarily. As for Swinton they are still winless this season. The Eagles travel to Leigh Centurions next weekend while Swinton face the trip to Whitehaven.

Sheffield: Laula-Togagae, Worrincy, Yere, Tyson, Blackmore; Aston, Hewitt; Thorpe, Carlile, Stringer, Knowles, Straugheir, James.

Subs: Jacks, Wheeldon, Neal, Mexico.

Swinton: Butt, Robinson, Lloyd, Hallett, Scott; White, Atkin; Morrison, Hood, Forster, Thornley, Dwyer, Lever.

Subs: Nash, Hand, Barlow, Austin.

Referee: M. Woodhead Touch Judges: A. Sweet & D. Butler Attendance: 508

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