Sheffield Eagles recorded their fourth consecutive Kingstone Press Championship victory after a battling 14 –12 success at Workington Town.
Eagles were forced to work hard but some resolute defending coupled with an intelligent kicking game from Kyle Briggs ensured their second away win.
Eagles were boosted by the return of second-rower Michael Knowles who recovered from a broken bone in his hand. Hooker James Davey was also passed fit after recovering from a dislocated finger.
The home side made all the early running with Eagles conceding a string of early penalties. After Town prop Tom Walker was held up over the line, the Eagles then had Scott Turner to thank for a brilliant last-ditch tackle.
It took Eagles 18 minutes to really threaten the Town line. After penetrating deep into enemy territory, Eddie Battye was held just before the line as Mark Aston’s side finally gained a foothold.
After soaking up the pressure Eagles clinically opened the scoring on 21 minutes. After swiftly switching the play to the left Menzie Yere darted for the line to give the Eagles the lead, Kyle Briggs converting.
More desperate defending followed for Eagles with Battye on hand to make a brilliant try-saving tackle as Workington continued to turn up the heat. Eagles’ cause wasn’t helped when a shoulder injury forced Cory Aston off the field and it got worse just before the interval as Aston’s side continued to rack up the penalty count. They finally broke referee Joe Cobb’s patience when Knowles saw yellow after a reckless tackle off the ball.
But Eagles won a penalty of their own just before the hooter and Briggs expertly converted with an attempt from halfway to send the visitors into the break eight points up.
More heroic defending kept Eagles in front before the 12 men stunned the home side by extending their advantage just after the break. The visitors picked up a penalty on halfway before moving the ball to the right where Sam Smeaton showed his strength to bundle his way over. Briggs converted again to put Eagles 14 points up. Town worked their way back into the game finally breaking the Eagles’ stubborn resistance, when running on the last Sam Forrester dived over, despite strong suspicions of a forward pass. Carl Forber added the extras to make it 6-14.
After a spell of Eagles pressure it looked like they would ease to victory, but after conceding three penalties Perry Whiteley crashed over to set up a grandstand finish. Forber converted to cut the deficit two points but Eagles regained their composure and saw out the last couple of minutes.
Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Smeaton, Worrincy, Briggs, Aston, Tonks, Davey, Thorpe, Knowles, Straugheir, Taulapapa. Subs: Battye, Davies, Musolino, Walker. Eagles tries: Yere (21) Smeaton (48) Goals: Briggs 3/3; Workington tries: Forrester (60), Whiteley (75) Goals: Forber 2/2