Eagles turn on style to overcome Hornets

SHEFFIELD Eagles overcame an early scare to run out comfortable winners over Rochdale Hornets at Spotland yesterday.

Trailing 18-0 after 20 minutes the omens were not promising for Mark Aston's team.

But once Eagles found their stride they proved far too strong for the hosts, a second-half hat-trick from man of the match Rob Worrincy the highlight of the performance.

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Aston may have been breathing easily by the time Worrincy ran in his third in the final minute of the contest.

But he was not so relaxed in the opening stages as Rochdale, looking for their first win in seven, set out at a frightening pace.

The home side dominated the opening exchanges and went ahead through tries from Tommy Goulden, Mark McCully and Phil Hasty.

However, once the Eagles settled into their fast handling game they had the measure of their relegation-threatened hosts.

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By half time they were on level terms, Jack Howieson, Damien Reid and Brendon Lindsay going over the line.

The Eagles made a far better start to the second half with the first of Worrincy's three tries coming five minutes after the break to put the visitors into the lead for the first time.

Tries from Johnny Woodcock, Mitchell Stringer and Worrincy looked to have made the result safe at 18-40 though the hosts pulled one back via Eric Andrews.

Richard Newlove's effort restored Sheffield's 22-point advantage.

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And although Goulden and McCully gave Rochdale hope at 36-46 it was Sheffield who finished the stronger, Woodcock and Worrincy rounding off the scoring.

"Rochdale were outstanding for the first 20 minutes," said Aston.

"They really played the game quick, slowed us down and dominated the game.

"Credit to my lads, they started filling the gaps in and we got it back before half time which was a big bonus for us and we kicked on from there in the second half until we switched off again and showed them a bit of disrespect - we started playing sloppy and were not dominant in the collision - which I was not particularly happy about.

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"We're in the top six for the first time this season and now we need to move on."Matchfacts

Rochdale Hornets 36

Sheffield Eagles 56


McCully, Andrews, Marsh, Cunliffe, Campbell, Barber, Hasty, Ball, Corcoran, Smith, Gorski, Law, Goulden. Subs: Hulse, Robinson, Svabic, Benjafield

Tries: Goulden (2), Hasty, McCully (2), Andrews. Goals: McCully (6)


Woodcock, Mills, Ford, Reid, Worrincy, Brown, Brambani, Howieson, Pickering, Stringer, Brown, Trayler, Hayes. Subs: Lindsay, Holdstock, Newlove, Corcoran

Tries: Howieson, Reid, Lindsay, Worrincy (3), Newlove, Woodcock (2), Stringer. Goals: Woodcock (8)


Referee: G Hewer

Att: 503