Sheffield Eagles christened their two match stay at Castle Park with a 26-16 victory over a spirited Whitehaven this afternoon.
The Eagles adapted slightly better to the tricky conditions and a patchwork quilt of a pitch, to make it three consecutive victories in a stop/start game dominated by the whistle of referee Jon Roberts.
Director of Rugby Mark Aston included Bradford loanee Dave Petersen in his starting line-up, with Jamie Langley dropping to the bench and John Davies missing out completely.
A first half lacking in quality was illuminated momentarily by Kyle Briggs’ pass into Quentin Laulu-Togagae, who sold the dummy before diving over the whitewash. Briggs converted.
Whitehaven showed character to respond when Craig Colvert shimmied his way over, but Louis Jouffrat missed the conversion.
The Eagles took control of the rest of the half scoring twice. Firstly Laulu-Togagae returned the compliment for Briggs to score, but he failed with the extras, closely followed by Dominic Brambani finding the onrushing Misi Taulapapa who charged over. Briggs converted.
Whitehaven stunned the Eagles to level the scores in the second half after a brace from Scott McAvoy, both converted by Jouffrat.
The Eagles response to the second try was instant with Scott Turner squeezing in the corner, and Briggs expertly converting for a 22-16 lead.
After the scare Taulapapa eased any nerves when he touched down in the corner to seal the points, and further enhance the Eagles’ top four credentials.
Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Smeaton, Worrincy, Briggs, Brambani, Thorpe, Carlile, Stringer, Knowles, Straugheir, Petersen. Interchange: Battye, Langley, Taulapapa, Davey.
Scorers: Tries: Laulu-Togagae (11), Briggs (30), Taulapapa (39, 71), Turner (60) Goals: Briggs 3/5
Whitehaven: Jouffrat; Sigismeau, Wilde, Parker, Calvert, Aiye, Gore, T. Chapelhow, Coyle, Beaumont, McAvoy, Allen, Brooks. Interchange: Taylor, Newton, J. Chapelhow, Davies.
Scorers: Tries: Calvert (26), McAvoy (45, 58) Goals: Jouffrat 2/3
Referee: Jon Roberts