Knowles saves Eagles

Quentin Laula-Togagae scores for Eagles
Quentin Laula-Togagae scores for Eagles
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Sheffield Eagles had a drop goal from Michael Knowles to thank for a 31-30 win as they were given a scare by relegated Swinton Lions.

Swinton came back from 30-18 down and might even have snatched victory if they had opted to go for goal with a late penalty on the super short Owlerton pitch.

There was plenty of attacking play with a hat-trick of tries each for Sheffield’s Etu Uaisele and Swinton’s Brad Dwyer.

The Eagles stay on track for the play-offs although coach Mark Aston was not impressed.

“It was slow, poor and we nearly came unstuck again. Winning 30 points to 18 you expect to kick on. Knozza (Michael Knowles) taking a drop goal tells you where we are but we won.”

Swinton edged the first half, going ahead with a try from fullback Jordan Burke, who was on loan at Sheffield earlier in the season. Mick Nanyn added the goal.

The lead was wiped out as centre Menzie Yere brushed off a couple of tacklers to ground under the posts and Dominic Brambani added the goal.

Hooker Dwyer – one of four dual reg loans from Warrington – restored Swinton’s lead.

A scuffle following a scrum saw Eagles’ Peter Green and Swinton’s Glenn Riley sin binned.

Fullback Quentin Laulu-Togagae ran on to Kyle Briggs’ pass to sweep in and with Brambani adding the two the scores were level briefly before stand-off Chris Atkin put Swinton ahead.

Nanyn’s third conversion took him into fifth place in the UK all-time points scorers.

Brambani’s looping pass gave centre Uaisele a clear run in to cut Swinton’s lead to 18-16 at the half-time.

The deficit was cleared with two tries in six minutes after the restart. Knowles and Yere set up Laulu-Togagae to race in under the posts with Brambani adding the goal.

Eagles pushed out their lead with Uaisele’s second try from Brambani’s pass.

They turned the screw as Uaisele completed his hat-trick with an interception on the half-way line before Dwyer with two tries put the game back in the melting pot.

The hooker weaved in from dummy half 30 metres and then forced his way over to complete a hat-trick with Nanyn adding the goals.

In between Knowles put over the drop goal which was to prove crucial with both teams unable to break the deadlock in the final ten minutes.