‘Dumb’ Eagles let it slip

Sheffiled Eagles' Quentin Laulu Togagae breaks through the Featherstone Rovers' defence to score a try.
Sheffiled Eagles' Quentin Laulu Togagae breaks through the Featherstone Rovers' defence to score a try.
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Sheffield Eagles treated their supporters to a nightmare performance as they crashed to a 36-22 defeat to Featherstone Rovers.

Leading 22-10 at half-time the Eagles should have had the game won but failed to score a point in the final 40 minutes.

Rovers, who parted company with their coach last week, sent Eagles to their third league defeat in four games since the return to Owlerton.

Some of referee Joe Cobb’s decisions and a 14-6 penalty count against them didn’t help but coach Mark Aston was in no mood for excuses.

“We’re dumb, three or four weeks ago against Doncaster we did exactly the same. I have no idea what we were supposed to be doing in the second half. The first half we had a plan we were disciplined and we did the job.

“When you are playing in big games you need your ‘A-game’ and not enough people did. I’m really filthy with the players yet again and it’s back to the drawing board.”

Rovers’ winger Ben Hellewell got the game’s opening try but Eagles came back with fullback Quentin Laulu-Togagae taking an offload from Menzie Yere before weaving his way through. Dominic Brambani added the goal to pass the 700-point mark for the club.

Eagles edged ahead with substitute hooker Gareth Owen catching Featherstone’s defence cold to go under the posts from dummy half. Brambani added the goal.

Rovers cut the deficit with Greg Worthington diving over but Eagles hit back with two tries in three minutes. Winger Jordan Burke went over at the corner and Brambani put in Laulu-Togagae for his 100th try for the club. Brambani added the goals for a comfortable 22-10 lead at the break.

After the restart Eagles slowly crumbled as Rovers kept going forward. Tries from Matty James and centre James Mendeika and goals from Kyle Briggs levelled the scores.

Rovers edged ahead with a penalty and a try by Briggs. Hooker Andy Ellis had tortured the Eagles in second half and his break down the left sent in Hellewell for his second try. Briggs’ sixth goal denied Eagles a bonus point.

* Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Taulapapa, Burke; Walker, Brambani; Lillycrop, Henderson, Stringer, Garside, Green, Straugheir. Subs: Owen, Knowles, Ashton, Aspinall.

Tries: Laulu-Togagae 16, 37, Owen 27, Burke 34; goals: Brambani 3/4.

* Featherstone: Hardman; Sharp, Mendeika, Worthington, Hellewell; Briggs, Kain; Crossley, Ellis, James, Cording, Spears, Lockwood. Subs: Bussey, Flanagan, Annakin, Hurst.

Tries: Hellewell 6, 75, Worthington 3, James 52, Mendeika 59, Briggs 70; goals: Briggs 6/7.

Referee: Joe Cobb.

Attendance: 1,279