Sheffield Eagles ended their season in style with a 24-10 victory over Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at Bramall Lane.
Mark Aston’s side stunned their Super League opponents after an inspired performance, with full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae playing a starring role having a hand in all four of the Eagles’ tries.
With seven of the 17 playing their final game for the club, with possibly more to exit over the next few weeks, the hosts ended this successful chapter in the club’s history with their second win of the Super 8 Qualifiers, and their first over Super League opposition.
Sam Smeaton and Tony Tonks returned to the 17, with Ryan Millar dropping out completely despite a hat-trick last time out against Hull KR.
After a tight opening the Eagles pressed on the gas and took the lead when Laulu-Togagae’s kick into space was superbly gathered by Scott Turner, who then spectacularly dived over into the corner, but Pat Walker missed a difficult conversion.
It got better for the Eagles on 26 minutes when Max Jowitt failed to gather a kick over the top, allowing Laulu-Togagae to pounce before offloading to Cory Aston for a simple run to the line. Walker converted.
Wakefield, who were handed home advantage for their ‘million pound game’ after Bradford’s defeat on Saturday, were not at the races, but Danny Kirmond got them back into the game with a try down the right. Joe Arundel missed the extras.
Before the break the Eagles re-enforced their hold on proceedings when Laulu-Togagae’s grubber kick to the corner was grounded by Yere, and Dominic Brambani expertly added the extra two points.
Wakefield hit-back on the stroke of half-time through Ben Kavanagh, and this time Arundel made no mistake with the conversion.
The Eagles came agonisingly close to extending their advantage at the start of the second half, but Eddie Battye knocked on when stretching for the line.
The hosts were then forced to withstand heavy pressure from the visitors, who were correctly denied a try after Tom Johnstone collected a forward pass before grounding.
Wakefield were now firmly camped inside the Eagles’ 20 metre line, but a host of errors coupled with some heroic defending ensured Aston’s side stayed in front.
After soaking up the pressure, the visitors were penalised for holding down allowing Walker to further extend the advantage with a timely penalty.
The Eagles crucially bagged the next try when James Davey broke the Wakefield line with a surging run, before handing over to Laulu-Togagae who dived over the whitewash to seal the game. Walker converted to jubilant scenes on and off the field.
Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Smeaton, Worrincy, Brambani, Aston, Battye, Carlile, Stringer, Knowles, Straugheir, Walker. Interchange: Taulapapa, Tonks, Davies, Davey.
Tries: Turner (19), Aston (26), Yere (36), Laulu-Togagae (71) Goals: Walker 3/4, Brambani 1/1
Wakefield: Jowitt; Lyne, Tupou, Arundel, Johnstone, Miller, Godinet, Anderson, Sio, Scruton, Simon, Washbrook, Annakin. Interchange: Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Kavanagh, Yates.
Tries: Kirmond (30), Kavanagh (40) Goals: Arundel 1/2
Referee: Joe Cobb