Eagles’ fifth win on trot

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A Kyle Briggs hat-trick led Sheffield Eagles to a fifth consecutive victory at high-flying Featherstone Rovers, winning 40-28.

Rovers occupy second spot in the Championship but were behind from the moment Briggs crossed for his first try after 11 minutes.

Eagles signed Briggs from Featherstone mid-season, and coach Mark Aston was delighted to see the stand-off run riot on his old stomping ground.

He said: “Kyle is a champion and we’re lucky to have him. He’s got that bit of class and composure; for him to come here and score three tries on a ground where he has had so many great years is special for him.

“He has been great for us and a huge influence on our form at the back end of the season.”

Andy Kain opened the scoring for Featherstone after six minutes, before Briggs threw the dummy to ghost through for his first try.

From then on the first half belonged to the visitors, and Quentin Laulu-Togagae sent his Samoan compatriot Misi Taulapapa over in the corner for the next score after quick hands to the right wing.

The lead was stretched further on the half hour after lovely interplay between Briggs and halfback partner Dominic Brambani created the space for Laulu-Togagae to go under the posts.

Laulu-Togagae notched his second three minutes before the break, providing the support play for Michael Knowles who had broken away on the left. Brambani landed three from four conversions giving Sheffield a 4-22 half-time advantage.

Luke Teasdale hit back for Featherstone shortly after the restart, but Eagles’ response was immediate, with Duane Straugheir stealing the ball off Ian Hardman to have a free run to the try line.

Will Sharp climbed highest to score from a kick to the corner for the next try for Rovers, and when Teasdale scored again five minutes later, the hosts had cut their deficit to just six points.

Briggs took control once more though, being on-hand to profit from great work by Sheffield prop Eddie Battye on 64 minutes.

Chris Annakin bulldozed over for Featherstone four minutes later, but Menzie Yere broke through and found Briggs five minutes from time to secure the points for the Eagles.

Rovers: Sharp; Blackmore, Worthington, Hardman, Crookes; Bussey, Kain; Crossley, Ellis, Annakin; Pick, Spears; Lockwood. Subs: Teasdale, James, Trout, Hirst. Tries: Kain (6), Teasdale (43, 55), Sharp (50), Annakin (68)

Goals: Bussey 4/5

Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Straugheir, Taulapapa; Briggs, Brambani; Battye, Henderson, Stringer; Knowles, Green; Walker. Subs: Davey, Garside, Lillycrop, Tagaloa. Tries: Briggs (11, 64, 75), Taulapapa (26), Laulu-Togagae (30, 37), Straugheir (45)

Goals: Brambani 5/6, Walker 1/1

Referee: Warren Turley

Attendance: 2085