Eagles’ Challenge Cup journey ends after defeat to Wakefield

Sheffield Eagles' Menzie Yere.

Sheffield Eagles' Menzie Yere.

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Sheffield Eagles’ involvement in the 2016 Challenge Cup was ended after a 44-10 defeat at the hands of Wakefield Wildcats.

After matching the hosts for the opening quarter, the game ran away from the Eagles as Wakefield ran in five first half tries to open up a commanding lead.

Despite a dogged second half display, restricting the hosts to just two tries, the Eagles were left to rue a host of errors which prevented them threatening their Super League opponents.

It was always going to be a tall order for Mark Aston’s side, who must now switch their attention to resurrecting their faltering top four challenge in the Kingstone Press Championship.

The Eagles made the perfect start and took the lead after just three minutes. Cory Aston found Menzie Yere who successfully chased his own grubber kick to pounce on the loose ball for the opening try. Aston converted.

The lead was short lived as Wakefield responded with three unanswered tries. First Liam Finn crossed the line, and converted his own score before Tom Johnstone dived full length to score in the corner. The home side then showed their Super League class with Johnstone and Hall combining for another try Finn.

Aston’s side dragged themselves back into the game when Quentin Laulu-Togagae’s kick was spilled by Ben Jones-Bishop, allowing Yere in for his second score. Aston missed the extras.

It was a minor setback for the hosts who responded with tries from Jones-Bishop in the corner, which was converted by Finn. Then Tinirau Arona forced his way between the sticks before Mika Simon also crossed the line, both scores converted by Finn.

The second half was predominantly played in the Eagles half as Wakefield looked to extend their healthy advantage. On 51 minutes Mikey Sio forced his way over the whitewash for the Wildcats sixth try and Finn added the two.

The visitors then lost Duane Straugheir after he was shaken in the tackle, with the second-rower failing to convince the doctors he was able to continue.

After soaking up large spells of pressure, Aston’s side threatened when Keal Carlile darted out of dummy half but he was held just short by a wall of Blue shirts.

The Eagles defended stoutly but they were finally breached again close to the end when Aruna ran in his second try, and Finn added further gloss to the scoreline.

Wakefield: Hall, Jones-Bishop, Gibson, Arundel, Johnstone; Miller, Finn; England, Howarth, Arona; Tupou, Ashurst; Sio. Interchange: Simon, Annakin, Yates, Walton.

Scorers: Tries: Finn (12, 21), Johnstone (17), Jones-Bishop (30), Arona (34, 77), Simon (38) Sio (51) Goals: Finn 6/8

Eagles: Laulu-Togagae, Worrincy, Yere, Tyson, Millar; Aston, Hewitt; Thorpe, Carlile, Stringer; James, Straugheir; Knowles. Interchange: Fozard, Minchella, Neal, Mexico.

Scorers: Tries: Yere (3, 24) Goals: Aston 1/2

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