Sheffield Eagles 34
Toulouse Olympique X111 16
SHEFFIELD Eagles fans might have a case for thinking they were short-changed after an entertaining first half was followed by a dour final 40 minutes.
The Eagles scored five of their six tries before half-time and then put their attacking flair on the back-burner.
Coach Mark Aston certainly had mixed feelings about the way a second Championship win was earned.
“The first 40 minutes were as good as we have played this season.,” he said.
“I’m not happy about the way we played in the second half – we were disrespectful. I asked the lads to be ruthless and we weren’t .”
Eagles’ half-backs Simon Brown and Kyle Wood plus hooker Andrew Henderson provided their attacking flair as the pack dominated possession in the first 40 minutes.
On-loan winger Vinny Finigan made his Eagles debut after Danny Mills broke a finger in training.
Loose-forward Joe Hirst had a try ruled out but the Eagles didn’t have to wait long before they took the lead with Quentin Laulu-Togagae’s pass sending in centre Menzie Yere. Brown added the goal.
Poor defending allowed Olympique’s stand-off Darren Nicholls to grab a try and add the goal.
Hirst scored and then winger Finigan celebrated his debut with a touchdown. Brown added both goals.
Laulu-Togagae misjudged a high kick and from the scrum winger Gregory White squeezed in at the corner but any French revival was crushed as Hirst took the ball on the break and crashed in. Brown added a touchline conversion.
Eagles finished the half with a sweeping passing move involving Henderson, Brown and Wood before with Yere claiming his second try for a 28-10 lead.
Toulouse had a more determined attitude in the second half with former Eagles’ prop Ged Corcoran and fellow front rower Brendan Worth coming close to tries.
A try from centre Jason Cookes eased the Eagles further ahead with Brown kicking his fifth goal.
Toulouse had to be content with a try from Sebastian Planas in the final seconds with Nicholls adding the goal.
EAgles: Quentin Laulu-Togagae; Vinny Finigan, Menzie Yere, Jason Crookes, Tim Bergin; Kyle Wood, Simon Brown; Liam Higgins, Andrew Henderson, Mitch Stringer, Alex Szostak, Peter Green, Joe Hirst. Subs: Ryan Hepworth, Jamie Cording, Alex Rowe, Eddie Battye.