AFTER two league defeats Sheffield Eagles blasted back with a 13-try crushing of Hunslet Hawks for their biggest league win in two seasons.
New Ireland coach Mark Aston was smiling as the lads who provide the day job laid on a try blitz early in the second half.
Aston said: “We can play and that’s been the frustrating thing and in the first 15 minutes we made mistakes and put ourselves under pressure but we showed what we were capable of in the second half.
“We built off a strong defence and we can score points – the lads have put a smile back on my face.”
Hunslet took the lead with a try from winger Dennis Tuffour with a Ratcliffe goal and the Eagles suffered a blow on 12 minutes when half-back Kyle Wood limped off.
Prop Mitch Stringer was putting in big runs and hooker Andrew Henderson used his experience and guile to keep the Eagles going as they battled to gain control.
A 40-20 kick by Simon Brown gave field position and Vinny Finigan went over near the flag from Henderson’s pass.
Sheffield kept up the pressure and loose-forward Joe Hirst provided the killer blow as he backed himself and burst the line from 30 metres to take the lead. Again Brown was unable to add the goal but the Eagles looked to grow in confidence.
Quentin Laulu-Togagae, who had come on for Wood, put in a curving run before sending fullback Misi Taulapapa in for his first try of the season. Brown added the goal.
On half-time Brown’s long pass found Mezie Yere who crashed over to give the Eagles an 18-6 lead.
Eagles didn’t waste time after the kick-off as they hit Hunslet with a barrage of quick-fire tries. Yere bust the line to give Laulu-Togagae an easy run in for his eighth try in six games. Next Yere went in from a sharp inside pass from Laulu-Togagae, Swiftly Alex Rowe raced through a gap before sending in Stringer under the posts Stringer claimed his second try and fellow prop Jack Howieson crashed over.
Brown who had found his range added all five goals.
Corey Hanson brought up the 50 points. Stringer, who had a spell at stand-off, took over the kicking and added the goal.
Danny Grimshaw’s try with Ratcliffe adding the goal doubled Hawks’ points total but Eagles didn’t ease up with Laulu-Togagage, Rowe and Jamie Cording adding tries with Brown and Stringer kicking a goal each.
Eagles: Taulapapa; Mills, Yere, Hanson, Finigan; Brown, Wood; Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Szostak, Green, Hirst. Subs: Laulu-Togagae, Cording, Rowe, Hepworth.
Tries: Finigan, 23, Hirst 29, Taulapapa 35, Yere 39, 45, Laulu-Togagae 42, 74, Stringer 48, 53, Howieson 57, Hanson 62, Rowe 77, Cording 79. Goals:
Brown 7/10, Stringer 2/ 3.
Hunslet: Kain; Tuffour, Oakes, Haughey, Pryce; Grimshaw, y Ratcliffe; Sullivan, Haigh, Houston, Kelly, Dooler, March. Subs: McLocklan, Lowe, Helme, Andy Yates.
Tries: Tuffour 4, Grimshaw 65. Goal: Ratcliffe 2/2
Referee: Gareth Hewer
Penalties: Eagles 8 Hunslet 7
In a dramatic finish at Derwent Park, Doncaster snatched victory with the last play of the game to complete a Championship One double over Workington Town with a 34-32 win.
The time keeper had indiccated there were five seconds left when Doncaster took the ball from their scrum in front of the home posts and when they moved it wide Chris Green found enough space to get through and touchdown.
Stuart Sanderson was unable to land the conversion but it didn’t matter as the Dons players celebrated what had looked an unlikely victory.
In a topsy turvy game Doncaster had fallen behind; enjoyed a 16-6 lead and turned round at half-time 18-16 in arrears. When they trailed 32-16 after only 52 minutes, with Town in full cry, it looked ominous.