GREAT counter-punching moves took Sheffield Eagles to their fourth straight win as they hammered six tries past Dewsbury Rams.
The Eagles had to defend for spells but each time it seemed the Rams would puts points on the board Mark Aston’s team turned the tables.
Simon Brown’s more precise style won the kicking battle with Dewsbury’s Dominic Brambani, with forwards Ryan Hepworth and Dane McDonald having a big impact off the bench and centre Jason Crookes scored two tries. The win keeps the Eagles in a group of four teams level on 12 points at the top of the Championship.
“We showed a determination and character and defensively we were very strong” said coach Aston. “To put 30-odd points on a good team shows we are going in the right direction.” After a tough start with Brambani testing the Eagles backs with high kicks the forwards wrestled back possession and Hepworth came off the bench and started to punch holes in the Dewsbury line with fellow prop Mitch Stringer denied a try by forward pass. Eagles took the lead midway through the half when Andrew Henderson and Brown swept the ball to the right of the posts for Crookes to finish. Brown added the first of six goals from six attempts.
Dewsbury finally found a gap on the Eagles’ right with winger Austin Buchanan going in. The Eagles hit back four minutes from the break when Kyle Wood’s looping pass found Menzie Yere for the centre to blast over. Brown’s touchline conversion made it 12-4 at half-time.
Brambani reduced the lead soon after the restart with a penalty but in a frantic four-minute spell the Eagles scored two tries. Quentin Laulu-Togagae’s explosive pace caught the Rams’ defence sleeping and Cookes stretched out as he was tackled to get the ball down on the line for his second try. Brambani was still the danger and he found his way to the try line before adding the goal - but again almost instantly the Eagles hit back.
Loose-forward McDonald scooted in following a scrum and prop Alex Rowe used his power from close in to force his way over under the posts to seal the win.
Eagles: Quentin Laulu-Togagae; Vinny Finigan, Menzie Yere, Jason Crookes, Tim Bergin; Kyle Wood, Simon Brown; Jack Howieson, Andrew Henderson, Mitch Stringer, Alex Szostak, Peter Green, Joe Hirst. Subs: Jamie Cording, Alex Rowe, Ryan Hepworth, Dane McDonald. Tries: Crookes, 18, 54, Yere 36, Laulu-Togagae 50, McDonald 76, Rowe 78. Penalties: Rams 10 Eagles 7. Attendance: 1,010.