WHitehaven 14 Sheffield Eagles 32; Eagles hit back to end regular season in style
Sheffield Eagles ended the regular Kingstone Press Championship season with a victory after a 14-32 success at Whitehaven.
Mark Aston’s side pulled further clear of the bottom two with their third win from their last five games after solid second half showing at The Recreation Ground.
Despite being down at the break, the visitors maintained their good recent form with four tries after the interval to sink struggling Haven.
The Eagles made the early running and opened the scoring after just four minutes. Quentin Laulu-Togagae forced his way across the whitewash and Cory Aston kicked the extras to reward the visitors for a lively start.
Aston’s side couldn’t build on their early dominance allowing the hosts to settle. After a mistake by the visitors, Chris Taylor punished the Eagles with a try, which was converted by Grant Gore for a level game.
Gore was almost in for a try himself but he failed to gather his own chip and chase, but Whitehaven were soon in front when Gore again threw a sublime dummy before diving over, but failed with the conversion.
The home side looked the most likely to add to their score, but against the run of play the Eagles reduced the deficit. Rob Worrincy, back in for the injured Ben Blackmore, bagged a try after Nathan Chappell’s pass, but Aston missed a difficult conversion.
Just before the break the Eagles conceded a penalty, with Gore taking the two to edge Whitehaven back in front.
It was a similar story just after the break with the home side taking the two through Gore, after winning another penalty close to the Eagles line to stretch their lead to four points.
Clearly Haven were out to kick for goal at every opportunity, but Gore missed with the next attempt as the hosts looked to pull clear.
The Eagles then hit the front in spectacular style. Following a 20 metre restart the visitors made rapid progress with Stan Robin benefitting from a break by Chappell to round off a brilliant try. Aston kicked the extras to edge the Eagles back into the lead.
Just past the hour the Eagles surged clear. A flat pass from Keal Carlile was collected by skipper Steve Thorpe who crashed over between the sticks, allowing for an easy conversion for Aston. The game was virtually put to bed with 10 minutes remaining when Chappell bagged a well deserved try, but Aston failed with the extras. Garry Lo sealed the victory three minutes from time after a long pass from Robin allowed the PNG winger to barge over the line, which was converted by Aston.
Whitehaven: Burns; Holiday, Taylor, Perez, Calvert; Aiye, Gore; Riley, Coyle, Walker; Allen, Fox; Davies. Interchange: Duffy, Newton, Carberry, Jouffret.
Scorers: Tries: Taylor (6) Gore (26) Goals: Gore 3/5
Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Lo, Yere, Chappell, Worrincy; Robin, Aston; Thorpe, Carlile, Wheeldon; James, Straugheir; Margalet. Interchange: Fozard, Tyson, Neal, Mexico.
Scorers: Tries: Laulu-Togagae (4), Worrincy (34), Robin (53), Thorpe (62), Chappell (69), Lo (77) Goals: Aston 4/6