Rugby League: Dons 24 Eagles 58

Sheffield Eagles charge to a brilliant victory at the Keepmoat as they bid for a hat-trick of play-off titles
Sheffield Eagles charge to a brilliant victory at the Keepmoat as they bid for a hat-trick of play-off titles
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Sheffield Eagles will fly the flag for South Yorkshire in the final stages of the Championship play-offs.

And on the evidence of yesterday’s resounding 58-24 win over Doncaster, it will take a good side to prevent Mark Aston’s men retaining the trophy they won against Batley.

Not that they were ever seriously tested by a Doncaster side which, on the day, looked but a shadow of the team which finished fourth in the table.

It didn’t help that they had stand-in second-rower Liam Cunningham sent-off for kicking Michael Knowles on 26 minutes.

Although his departure, and the fact that Wilkinson was clearly carrying a dead leg, didn’t help their cause, the writing was already on the wall with Eagles leading 18-6.

Such was the quality of their play around the ruck, the power of their forwards and the pace of their back division that the Dons at their best would have struggled to contain them.

Eagles took the lead on six minutes, prop Eddie Battye juggling the ball prior to touching down from close range for a try goaled by Dom Brambani.

Eagles doubled their lead on 10 minutes, centre Etu Usisele latching on to a dropped ball inside the Doncaster 20 and racing in virtually unopposed for a try goaled by Pat Walker.

Wilkinson broke the line on 15 minutes and with the cover closing in he released supporting full-back Dave Scott, who raced in under the post. Stu Sanderson added the extras.

Eagles regained their 12-point advantage five minutes later with a superb long-range try.

Winger Scott Turner collected a clearance kick deep inside his own half and raced through the heart of the Doncaster defence before sending Walker in for a try, goaled by Brambani.

Powerhouse centre Menzie Yere scored another unconverted try by powerhouse centre Menzie Yere.

There were further converted tries from Matt Garside and Turner before the break to make it 36-6.

And they scored converted tries by former Doncaster favourite Kyle Briggs and full-back Quentin Lalu-Togagae and bombed another in the first five minutes of the second half.

The Dons managed to stem the tide and even managed to cut the deficit on the hour with a close-range converted try by Scott Spaven.

But their ‘joy’ was short-lived withYere putting Lalu-Togagae over for his 32nd try of the season. Briggs tagged on the extras.

Duane Straugheir also went over before Tom Hodson and Mike Emmett added late consolation tries for the well-beaten Dons.