Sheffield Eagles returned to winning ways with a 36-10 victory over Halifax at The Keepmoat Stadium.
A first-half hat-trick from winger Rob Worrincy helped the Eagles record another success on ‘home’ soil, as Mark Aston’s side bounced back after recent defeats to Leigh Centurions and Hull FC to retain third position in the table.
Director of Rugby Aston made two changes to the side that lost to Hull FC in the Challenge Cup. Fit-again Michael Knowles returned to the line-up to replace Jamie Langley who has a groin strain, whilst Dominic Brambani was preferred to Kyle Briggs who dropped to the bench.
Halifax enjoyed the early possession but it was Eagles who drew first blood. Knowles’ kick on the last was telegraphed by Menzie Yere who helped it on its way allowing Quentin Laulu-Togagae to gather the loose ball and run in under the posts. Brambani converted.
Eagles made Fax pay for not taking advantage of their early dominance by running in a second try soon after. A sweeping five man move from left to right was finished in the corner by former Halifax winger Worrincy, after a slick final pass from Sam Smeaton. Brambani missed the conversion attempt.
The visitors’ implosion continued four minutes later when Eagles turned over possession after an error from Dane Manning, and Worrincy again finished well taking advantage of an overlap for his second try of the game. Brambani converted.
Just before the break Worrincy completed his hat-trick with almost a carbon copy of his second try. A handling error by Jack Spencer gave the Eagles the initiative and after a quick play from the scrum, Worrincy was in again down the right to give the hosts a commanding advantage. Brambani expertly added the extras.
The visitors gave themselves hope with a well worked try right on half-time when Richard Moore barged over. Danny Craven missed the conversion.
Halifax moved within 12 points after Mitch Cahalane forced himself over with 15 minutes remaining. Craven converted. But Eagles gave themselves breathing space when Brambani slotted over a penalty after an illegal ball steel.
Any hope of a comeback for the visitors was emphatically quashed when Laulu-Togagae sprinted through and just had the legs to dive over in the corner. Brambani nailed the conversion from the touchline.
Brambani added gloss to the scoreline picking up Briggs’ kick through to score in front of the posts, before converting to confirm the Eagles eighth league win from 10.
Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Smeaton, Worrincy, Aston, Brambani, Battye, Carlile, Thorpe, Knowles, Davies, Taulapapa. Interchange: Davey, Musolino Briggs Stringer.
Scorers: Tries: Laulu-Togagae (9, 74), Worrincy (16, 20, 39), Brambani (79) Goals: Brambani 6/7
Halifax: Saltonstall; Potts, Heaton, Taylor, Brown, Craven, Johnston, Cahalane, Kaye, Ambler, Divorty, Manning, Murrell. Interchange: Tangata, Spencer, Moore, Maneely.
Scorers: Tries: Moore (40), Calahane (65) Goals: Craven 1/2
Referee: Matthew Thomason