Sheffield Eagles maintained their impressive start to the season after sweeping aside fellow top four contenders Featherstone Rovers 33-4 at Post Office Road.
The Eagles blew away their hosts after a blistering display running in six tries in a dominant performance which saw Mark Aston’s side move back within two points of league leaders Leigh Centurions, who are the next up at the Keepmoat Stadium this Sunday.
Aston again freshened up his 17 as the Eagles prepared for their third game in nine days.
The Eagles’ director ofrugby gave a recall to scrum-half Dominic Brambani, whilst former Featherstone favourite Tony Tonks was also restored to the starting line-up.
The re-shuffle was complete with winger Scott Turner also coming back into the side, but there was no place in the 17 for Huddersfield Giants loanee Oliver Roberts, winger Rob Worrincy and youngster Cory Aston who dropped out completely.
The Eagles were searching for their eighth successive win in all competitions and started with purpose scoring their first try of the evening after just two minutes.
Menzie Yere produced a trademark barnstorming run crashing over the line catching the home side cold as the Eagles looked to dictate the early pace. Pat Walker duly added the extras for an early 6-0 advantage.
A Walker penalty added to the visitors’ early lead and after a good spell for the Flat Cappers which was successfully repelled by the Eagles, Aston’s side further enhanced their advantage by adding a second try on 28 minutes. After Rovers’ scrum half Gaz Moore was penalised for an illegal ball steal, the Eagles seized their opportunity with the recalled Turner diving over in the corner. Walker added the extras with a tough kick from the sideline.
The Eagles finished the half in complete control adding a third try when Quentin Laulu-Togagae danced over the line after an incisive break, with Walker converting to make it 0-20 at the break.
The interval did nothing to derail the Eagles’ progress and they added another score just after the break when Sam Smeaton provided a slick pass into the hands of Misi Taulapapa who made no mistake diving over the line. Walker missed the conversion.
The home side were beginning to fall apart at the seams as the Eagles cranked up the pressure with another try on 50 minutes. The unstoppable Yere again was the driving force as he burst through the Rovers’ line for his second try of the afternoon. Walker failed with the conversion.
Rovers gave their restless supporters some cheer when Will Sharp finished well but it proved to be a mere blip for the Eagles who took control of the game for the final 20 minutes. The win was sealed when Michael Knowles added a drop goal with four minutes remaining and then Walker ran in a sixth try on the hooter to cap a fantastic Eagles’ display.
Featherstone: Hitchcox; Blackmore, Hardman, Chappell, Sharp, Sykes, Moore, James, Ellis, Wood, Cording, Foster, Bussey. Interchange: Irwin, Baldwinson, Bostock, Ormondroyd.
Scorers: Tries: Sharp (61) Goals: Moore 0/1
Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Smeaton, Taulapapa, Briggs, Brambani, Battye, Carlile, Tonks, Knowles, Langley, Walker. Interchange: Davey, Thorpe, Stringer, Davies.
Scorers: Tries: Yere (2, 50), Turner (28), Laulu-Togagae (36), Taulapapa (46), Walker (80) Goals: Walker 4/7. Drop Goals: Knowles 1/1