SHEFFIELD Eagles set up a fairground complete with bouncy castle and gunge tank for the fans before the game – but they made sure that Swinton Lions didn’t enjoy the fun.
For much of the game, newly-promoted Swinton must have felt they were trapped in the gunge tank as they were showered by 10 Eagles tries in their opening Championship game.
But that didn’t satisfy Eagles boss Mark Aston.
He said: “At times we are a very good football team, what frustrates the life out of me is when we go away from what puts us in a very good position. We scored 50 odd points but I’m not happy that we let 22 in from soft tries.”
Eagles started on the front foot with centre Mezie Yere’s break sending second row Alex Szostak in after two minutes. It was swiftly followed by a sweeping passing move that gave Yere a touchdown before Misi Taulapapa opened the way for scrum-half Dominic Brambani to race in behind the posts and claim his 100th point for Sheffield.
The Lions got into the game with a try from winger Rob Foxen but Eagles hit back with prop Ryan Hepworth celebrating his 100 appearances for the club going over the line from Brambani’s pass. Brown kicked all the goals and the Eagles led 24-6 at half-time
Swinton went for broke from the restart and hit the Eagles with two tries in the first six minutes from centre Adam Higson.
Aston sent back on his heavy mob by bringing back the starting front row off the bench and that tipped the balance with a three-try burst leading up to three-quarter time. Wingers Vinny Finigan and Nev Morrison grabbed tries.
Full back Quentin Laulu Togagae sent centre Duane Straugheir bustling in. Brown missed the goals but the Eagles were in control.
Loose forward Joe Hirst added two quick fire tries and Brown’s goal brought up 50 points.
The impressive Laulu-Togage produced a 60-metre break to add to Swinton’s misery with Brown kicking his eighth goal.
Darren Hawkyard’s late try and Gavin Dodds third goal were scant consolation for Swinton.
EAGLES: Laulu-Togagae; Finigan, Yere, Taulapapa, Morrison; Brown, Brambani; Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Szostak, Peter Green. Hirst. Subs: Pat Smith, Scott, Straugheir, Hepworth
TRIES: Szostak, 2, Yere, 7, Brambani, 20, Hepworth, 32, Finigan, 50, Morrison, 54, Straugheir, 57, Hirst, 65, 70, Laulu-Togage 72.
GOALS: Brown 8/ 10.
SWINTON: Hawkyard; Dodd, Higson, Armstrong, Foxen; Ainscough, Watson; Holland, Mark Smith, Mills, Cunniffe, Darren Hawkyard, I’Anson. Subs: Morrison, Forster, Ashall, Hale.
TRIES: Foxen, 23, Higson, 42, 46, Hawkyard, 77.
GOALS: Dodd 3/ 4.