Sheffield Eagles 46 Rochdale Hornets 24: Back-to-back wins for Aston's men
Sheffield Eagles recovered from a sluggish start to make it back-to-back Championship wins following a 46-24 victory over bottom side Rochdale Hornets.
The Eagles struggled to repeat the fluency from their success at Batley, as struggling Rochdale put in a competitive display, but a second-half rally saw the hosts re-enter the top five places – with the rest of the contenders to play over the weekend.
Many would have called a home win a formality, but the Eagles were nowhere to been seen in the opening stages as Daniel Abram’s converted try gave the visitors an early lead.
In an error strewn opening quarter the Eagles also lost James Meadows to the bin for a ball strip as the Hornets looked set for another score.
The hosts briefly found their stride with a well worked try to level the game. Pat Walker, Josh Guzdek and Aaron Brown were all involved in moving the ball right to left for Ryan Millar to go over in the corner. Walker converted.
The errors from both sides continued to litter the first half, with the Eagles having Millar to thank for a brilliant try saving tackle on Abram.
Aston’s side eventually hit the front after Oliver Davies sprinted 40 metres to dive over the line, but Walker missed the extras.
But the Championship’s basement club hit back when Callum Marriott’s converted try had the Hornets in front.
It looked like a shock lead for the visitors at the break, but with seconds remaining Anthony Thackeray’s kick was claimed by Meadows who touched down for a converted score.
The Eagles meant business after the break and when Walker’s short pass was taken by Thackeray, there was no stopping his surge across the whitewash. Walker converted.
Rochdale’s brittle confidence was now exposed as the Eagles put their foot on the gas. Superb hands by Thackeray, Meadows and Joel Farrell opened up room for Millar to bag his second converted try.
Sloppy play from the restart resulted in a converted Brandon Wood score, but a terrific individual try from Meadows, converted by Guzdek, re-established a comfortable lead.
There was a converted try each in the final stages with Pat Moran crashing over for the Eagles, whilst Marriott hit back for Rochdale.
The last word went to Millar who sprinted clear for a hat-trick, converted by Guzdek.
Eagles: Guzdek; Millar, Ogden, Crookes, Blackmore; Meadows, Walker; Moran, Davey, Knowles; Farrell, Davies; Brown. Interchange: Pick, P. Burns, Thackeray, Broadbent.
Scorers: Tries: Millar (15, 51, 79), Davies (30), Meadows (40, 60), Thackeray (45), Moran (75) Goals: Walker 4/5, Guzdek 3/3
Rochdale: Abram; Kay, Williams, Worthington, B. Wood; Thomas, Farrell; Marriott, C. Wood, Mitchell; Baker, Shelford; Robson. Interchange: Gillam, Glesson, Lawton, Sheridan.
Scorers: Tries: Abram (3), Marriott (34, 77), B. Wood (53) Goals: Abram 4/4
Referee: Cameron Worsley