Aston pledges changes as Eagles crash to leaders

Eagles battle but are unable to stop Leigh recording their 15th successive win
Eagles battle but are unable to stop Leigh recording their 15th successive win
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Sheffield Eagles’ dismal run at home continued as they crashed 54-12 to Championship leaders Leigh Centurions yesterday.

Eagles struggled for possession and had to settle for the scraps of a try in either half as the Lancashire team set a club record of 15 straight wins.

It’s now only one win in five league games since the switch to Owlerton Stadium and coach Mark Aston is promising action and team changes.

“It isn’t just today,” he said. “We got a few false promises and this has been coming. Some of the people are letting themselves down and that was a by-product of what has been turned out in the last six or eight weeks.

“This was the ultimate challenge and the lads let themselves down. It’s time to make changes.”

Leigh were two tries up before the Eagles had touched the ball. Former Eagles centre Tom Armstrong sent in winger Liam Kay for the first of his four tries and hooker Bob Beswick went over from dummy half. Martyn Ridyard kicked the first of eight goals.

Centre Lelauloto Tagaloa provided a brief respite bursting on to a sharp pass from Dominic Brambani to crash over. Brambani added the goal.

The game was halted for 15 minutes when a Leigh supporter collapsed and lost consciousness. The Eagles team doctor and physio gave assistance and the man in his 20s was taken from the crowd on a stretcher to hospital.

With the game resumed Kay got his second try and Ridyard’s break and chip kick wrong footed the cover for fullback McNally to touch down under the posts.

Eagles were restricted to Misi Taulapapa and Andrew Henderson trying to burrow their way over on the final tackle and a break by Scott Turner.

Ridyard kicked two penalties to give Leigh a 26-6 lead at half-time.

There was no respite for the Eagles after the restart with scrum-half Ryan Brierley getting his 26th try of the season after intercepting a pass from Quentin Laulu-Togagae.

Kay completed his hat-trick and made it four with tries either side of second rower Tommy Goulden blasting over.

Brierley, taking over the kicking duties, brought up the 50 points and Sean Penywicz adding Leigh’s ninth try

There was minor consolation for the Eagles as a perfect kick by Michael Knowles was taken by Misi Taulapapa to slide in at the corner and Patch Walker added the goal.

* Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Tagaloa, Taulapapa; Walker, Brambani; Lillycrop, Henderson, Stringer, Garside, Straugheir, Knowles. Subs: Davey, Aspinall, Hope, Battye.

Tries: Tagaloa 12, Taulapapa 77; goals: Brambani 1/1. Walker 1/1.

* Leigh: McNally; Pownall, Pitman, Armstrong, Kay; Ridyard, Brierley; Spencer, Beswick, Barlow, Haggerty, Goulden, Bate. Subs: Penkywicz, Acton, Emmitt, Wilkes.

Tries: Kay 2, 19, 58, 66, Beswick 6, McNally 23, Brierley 47, Goulden 63,Penkywicz 74. Goals: Ridyard 8/9, Brierley 1/ 2.

Referee: Matt Thomason

Attendance: 1151.