Sheffield Eagles lose unbeaten start in Championship after 32-14 defeat at Featherstone Rovers - - -
Twelve-man Sheffield Eagles lost their unbeaten start to the Championship season following a 32-14 defeat at Featherstone Rovers.
The turning point in the game arrived just five minutes before the interval when Blake Broadbent was shown a red card for what official Liam Moore deemed a dangerous tip-tackle on Featherstone’s Josh Hardcastle.
Aston’s side stuck to their task and were within two points of the hosts at the mid-point of the second-half, but following a yellow for James Davey the two man advantage showed as Rovers ran in late tries from Calum Turner and John Davies.
On a pudding of a pitch at Post Office Road, both sides had to contend with the driving wind and sleet during the opening stages.
After an impressive start by the Eagles which saw Matty James denied just in front of the sticks, it was the home side who were on the board first through a James Lockwood converted try.
They increased their advantage thanks to some indiscipline by the Eagles when Turner eventually finished in the corner, but the winger missed a tough conversion.
Aston’s side worked their way into the contest when a superb kick from Pat Walker was taken by Ryan Millar who dived over in the corner. Walker missed the extras.
The Eagles didn’t capitalise on their foothold, and after a knock on from Ben Blackmore, Rovers made their way up-field with Ashton Golding dancing over for a converted score.
The visitors then lost Broadbent, but had the last word before the break when Joel Farrell made it five tries in five games after squirming away from three tacklers to score. Walker converted.
Aston’s side were given a lift when Jack Bussey saw yellow at the start of the second-half, and they capitalised when Anthony Thackeray’s kick was kept alive by Farrell and James Glover allowing Millar to dive over in the corner for his second try. Walker missed the extras to leave the Eagles two behind.
After Thackeray denied Watson Boas with a last ditch tackle, Bussey returned from the bin to bundle his way across the whitewash for a converted try.
The Eagles were down to 11 when Davey saw yellow for a high shot, and with a two man advantage Turner bagged his second try, which he converted, followed by a late score by ex-Eagle Davies to seal the points.
Featherstone: Golding; Briscoe, Hardcastle, Harrison, Turner; Reynolds, W. Boas; Wheeldon, King, Bussey; Smith, Davies; Lockwood. Interchange: Cooper, Ormondroyd, Maskiill, A. Boas.
Scorers: Tries: Lockwood (9), Turner (17, 68), Golding (26), Bussey (63), Davies (77) Goals: Turner 4/6
Eagles: Guzdek; Millar, Glover, Crookes, Blackmore; Walker, Thackeray; Knowles, Davey, James; Davies, Farrell; Brown. Interchange: G. Burns, Broadbent, P. Burns, Pick.
Scorers: Tries: Millar (21, 55), Farrell (40) Goals: Walker 1/3
Referee: Liam Moore