Derby Day delight in Doncaster for the Sheffield Eagles

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Sheffield Eagles secured their second victory of the 2024 Betfred Championship season after a hard-fought 20-26 victory over South Yorkshire rivals Doncaster at the Eco-Power Stadium on Good Friday.

Mark Aston named a strong side to feature in Doncaster as Anthony Thackeray, Ben Jones-Bishop and Alex Foster returned into the starting thirteen, whilst there was also a place on the bench for back-rower Joel Farrell, who returned to the side having missed the last few weeks through injury.

It was the red of South Yorkshire to open the scoring at the Eco-Power Stadium as Cory Aston met Vila Halafihi’s ball from dummy half, before the halfback spotted a gap in the Doncaster defence as he went over to score.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Aston converted his own try with the kick to come, the first of three successful conversions for the afternoon.

Matty Dawson-Jones claiming the match-winning tryMatty Dawson-Jones claiming the match-winning try
Matty Dawson-Jones claiming the match-winning try

The lead was doubled in the 16th minute as a three-versus-two was created on the right edge and Jack Hansen was on hand to get the ball down after strong attacking pressure from the Eagles.

The hosts responded with a try to claw their way back into the game six minutes later as a break from deep by Reece Lyne saw the ball get played inside to former Eagles full-back Josh Guzdek, who went over to score from close-range.

Connor Robinson added the extras with the boot to take them within only four points off the Eagles.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And things got better for the hosts as Robinson spotted a gap from close-range and went over to score, before converting his own try to put Doncaster into a 12-10 lead only minutes away from the break.

But it was Mark Aston’s men who ensured the headed into the sheds leading at the break as James Glover found himself unmarked as he met Thackeray’s cross field kick and added a third Sheffield try of the afternoon to give the Eagles a 12-14 lead at the break.

Doncaster scored the first points of the second half as they edged their way back in front through Joe Lovodua’s try after he met Ben Johnston’s grubber kick through the Sheffield defensive line, which was once again converted by Robinson.

The home side extended their lead further when Robinson converted a penalty to take the score to 20-14, but Sheffield clawed their way back into the contest as Kris Welham touched down in the corner after the ball came loose from Aston’s kick as the ball was parried backwards by the Doncaster winger.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And victory was all but secured for the Eagles as they went back-to-back as Bower made a great break down the left-hand side, before spinning the ball out wide to Matty Dawson-Jones who touched down to score in the corner, before Aston nailed a touchline conversion to take Sheffield into a 20-24 lead.

Hansen made a superb try-saving tackle five minutes from time to deny a Luke Briscoe score in the corner for the hosts, before a late converted penalty by Aston in front of the sticks added a late crucial two points and secured a 20-26 win for the Sheffield Eagles.

Sheffield Eagles sit third in the Betfred Championship table following two successive victories in their opening couple of games. Attention now turns to next weekend’s trip to Whitehaven, where they'll look to carry on their good run at the start of the season, which has seen Mark Aston's men claim nine victories from their opening ten games in all competitions.

Doncaster: Guzdek, Briscoe, Lyne, Hey, Halliday, Johnston, Robinson, Knowles, Burns, Matagi, Ruan, Smeaton, McConnell

Interchanges: Pauli, Lovodua, Hepi, Ferres

18th Man: Boas

Tries: Guzdek (22’) Robinson (33’), Lovodua (46’)

Conversions: Robinson (4/4)

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Sheffield Eagles: Hansen, Jones-Bishop, Welham, Glover, Dawson-Jones, Aston, Thackeray, Battye, Halafihi, Dickinson, Bower, Foster, Gwaze

Interchanges: Hodgson, Roberts, Murphy, J.Farrell

18th Man: Liu

Tries: Aston (6’), Hansen (16’), Glover (40’), Welham (61’), Dawson-Jones (64’)

Conversions: Aston (3/6)

Referee: S.Mikalauskas

Attendance: 1,770