SHEFFIELD Eagles swept to their third Championship win on the bounce as they hit Halifax for seven tries.
Sheffield Eagles 41 Halifax 22
The victory had a dash of sweet revenge as it helped ease the memory of Fax putting the Eagles out of the play-offs last season.
Coach Mark Aston said: “Take nothing away from Halifax, we have beaten the team that won the Grand Final last year. We were still smarting from going out to them in the semis. We’ve put that right.”
The Eagles dominated the first half with full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae coming into the line well and half-back Kyle Wood causing havoc with his breaks and kicking game. Fax came back in the second half but the Eagles steadied and finished the stronger.
Aston added: “The first 40 minutes were outstanding but a team like Halifax are always going to have a spell in the game where they are dominant but we showed a lot of resolve and character and got back on course.”
There was a first return to Sheffield for Sam Barlow whose controversial transfer and appearance for Halifax in the Eagles defeat in the play-off semi-final led to legal threats. Barlow had a few clashes with Eagles Mitch Stringer but made little impact on the game.
Fax put up the first points from Joe Chandler with Graham Holroyd adding the goal.
Eagles drew level and then went ahead with Menzie Yere powering over from 10 metres and winger Vinny Finigan squeezing in at the corner. Simon Brown kicked the first of six goals.
As monsoon like rain swept across Bramall Lane, the Eagles went on the rampage with Alex Rowe blasting over under the posts from Andrew Henderson’s pass and winger Tim Bergin given an easy run in from Laulu-Togagae’s final pass to lead 22-6 at half-time.
From the re-start Fax hit back with a second try from Chandler with Holroyd adding the goal. Hooker Andrew Henderson went in under the posts and Wood raced in after a break by Alex Rowe.
Fax enjoyed their best spell with tries from Paul White and former Eagles winger Rob Worrincy and goals from Holroyd narrowing the gap to 12 points.
Brown eased Eagles nerves with a field goal and a late try from prop Ryan Hepworth made sure of denying Fax even a losing bonus point.
n EAGLES: Quentin Laulu-Togagae; Vinny Finigan, Menzie Yere, Jason Crookes, Tim Bergin; Kyle Wood, Simon Brown; Ryan Hepworth, Andrew Henderson, Mitch Stringer, Alex Szostak, Peter Green, Joe Hirst. Subs: Jamie Cording, Alex Rowe, Eddie Battye, Dane McDonald.