Eagles’ poor start to the new season continues

Sheffield Eagles slipped to back-to-back defeats to start the 2020 Championship season after being thumped 58-10 at Leigh Centurions on Saturday.

Sunday, 9th February 2020, 3:09 pm
Updated Sunday, 9th February 2020, 9:13 pm
Sheffield Eagles' Josh Guzdek scored one of their consolation tries late on.

Mark Aston’s side were totally outplayed by a dominant Centurions outfit who ran in 11 tries to maintain their unbeaten start to the season, with the Eagles crossing the whitewash twice late on through Josh Guzdek and Lewis Taylor but their efforts being in vain.

Aston tinkered with his line-up for this encounter as Anthony Thackeray returned to the side which saw Corey Makelim move to full-back, Guzdek go to center and Zack McComb switch to the wing to replace the absent Rob Worrincy.

The changes though had no impact early doors, as the Centurions signalled their intentions with a lightning start.

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Adam Higson crossed in the corner after just four minutes for an unconverted try, and shortly afterwards he was there again for his second after Connor Bower coughed up possession, this time Ben Reynolds converted.

Higson’s hat-trick was completed inside 18 minutes after Danny Addy created the opportunity running the ball on the last.

Addy would then open up the Eagles once again on 24 minutes as Josh Woods crashed onto a short pass for a converted try.

The Eagles then restarted the game by kicking the ball out on the full, allowing Leigh to move downfield and score again through Iain Thornley, and Reynolds converted.

Reynolds saw yellow before the break for his part in a fracas, but it did not stem the flow of points as Nick Glohe crossed for an unconverted try.

The Eagles continued to ship points well into the second stanza after converted tries from Lewis Bienek and Matty Wildie took the Centurions past 50 points.

Alex Gerrard was next over the whitewash on 52 minutes, before ex-Eagle Ben Hellewell collected Reynolds' kick for another try, this time converted.

The Eagles did finally get themselves on the scoreboard on 66 minutes when Thackeray’s grubber came back off a Leigh player, allowing Guzdek to claim the loose ball for an unconverted try in the corner.

With four minutes remaining another Thackeray kick cannoned off the post and Taylor picked up the loose ball to score, converted by Isaac Farrell.

The last word then went to the hosts as Liam Hood scored on the hooter, the try converted by Gregg McNally, meaning Centurions’ work for the day was done and Eagles were left to rue another disappointing display.

Leigh: McNally; Scott, Thornley, Sa’u, Higson; Reynolds, Woods; Mason, Hood, Ioane; Hellewell, Glohe; Addy. Interchange: Wildie, Thompson, Gerrard, Bienek.

Scorers: Tries: Higson (4, 8, 18), Woods (24), Thornley (25), Glohe (42), Bienek (47), Wildie (50), Gerrard (52), Hellewell (57), Hood (80) Goals: Reynolds 6/9, Woods 0/1, McNally 1/1

Eagles: Makelim; McComb, Guzdek, Bower, Millar; I. Farrell, Thackeray; Dixon, G. Burns, Knowles; Davies, J. Farrell; Brown. Interchange: Ward, Taylor, P. Burns, Broadbent.

Scorers: Tries: Guzdek (66), Taylor (76) Goals: I. Farrell 1/2

Referee: Michael Mannifield

Attendance: 3,104