Eagles shocked at Whitehaven

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SHEFFIELD Eagles seven-game unbeaten run came to a crashing end with a five-try shock defeat at Whitehaven.

The long road trip to Cumbria can be a test and the Eagles apart from a brief spell just before half-time struggled to get into gear.

Three tries down after 23 minutes their hopes of a comeback went into reverse soon after the restart as they lost their grip on second place in the Championship.

Coach Mark Aston said: “This was very disappointing. No excuses on the day we weren’t good enough and certain people have to look at themselves. Our defending was poor and again we gave an interception try.”

Jack Howieson, Alex Szostak and Duane Straugheir were recalled to the Eagles pack after being rested for the Good Friday win over Doncaster. An enforced change in the backs saw Scott Turner moving to centre for the injured Tom Armstrong with Nev Morrison on the wing.

Whitehaven’s Jesse Joe Parker set up the first try with his pass sending in winger Craig Calvert. Cain Southernwood’s conversion attempt was wide but the half-back made no mistake with a penalty.

Eagles were hit by a sucker punch with centre Scott McAvoy intercepting and going the length of the field to touchdown. Parker provided the final pass for fullback Neil Thorman to go over with Southernwood adding the goals.

Eagles hit back with two tries in the final five minutes of the half. Prop forward Mitch Stringer led the charge using his power to go over.

On half-time Menzie Yere took a pass from Quentin Laulu-Togagae and there was no stopping the centre as he burst through from 30 metres. Brambani goals cut the Haven lead to 18-12.

Two minutes after the restart the Eagles comeback hopes were rocked as winger James Cameron went in at the corner.

Half-back Lee Patterson went in for a try and Southernwood added the goal and followed it with a penalty approaching the halfway point of the half.

A 40-20 kick from Brambani set up a second try for Yere. The conversion was missed and in the final 15 minutes the Eagles couldn’t gain the score they needed for at least a bonus point.

On the hooter Brambani was yellow carded for talking back to a linesman.

* Whitehaven: Thorman; Calvert, Parker, McAvoy, Cameron; Paterson, Southernwood; Martins, Newton, Culnean, Barker, Clarke, Crellin. Subs: Houghton, Slice, Jackson, Doran.

Tries: Calvert 5, McAvoy 16, Thorman 23, Cameron 42, Patterson 47.

Goals: Southernwood 5/7.

* Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Morrison, Turner, Yere, Taulapapa; Walker, Brambani; Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Knowles, Straugheir, Szostak. Subs: Smith, Garside, Hirst, Gledhill.

Tries: Stringer 35, Yere 39, 62.

Goals: Brambani 2/3.

* Referee: Ronnie Laughton.

* Attendance: 569.