Sheffield Eagles 16 Toronto Wolfpack 42: Report
Sheffield Eagles failed to halt the Toronto juggernaut after a 42-16 defeat at the OLP.
The big-spending league leaders extended their winning run to nine games and increased their lead at the Championship summit, despite a good second-half showing from Mark Aston’s side.
The inclusion of dual-registration trio Dan Hindmarsh, Jacob Ogden and Ben Hellewell, plus the return from injury of Jason Crookes, helped compensate for the loss of injured pair James Glover and Matty James, but the hosts were heavy underdogs going into the contest.
The Eagles rebuffed a confident opening burst from the visitors but after six minutes Blake Wallace touched down before converting his own score.
The Wolfpack certainly looked in the mood with no repeat of the early resistance Aston’s side showed in the reverse fixture a month ago, as the tries started to rain in.
Andrew Dixon bagged a quick-fire converted brace as the Wolfpack moved into a commanding position.
The Eagles weren’t given a chance to threaten in the opening quarter, but on their rare forays towards the Toronto line, mistakes were proving costly.
After winning back-to-back penalties, the hosts looked in prime position for a try, but Pat Walker coughed up possession when well placed to threaten.
Toronto showed more clinical finishing through tries from Liam Kay and Chase Stanley as the visitors threatened a big score.
Aston’s side kept plugging away and were rewarded just before the half-time hooter. Blake Broadbent was held just short, but the hosts switched the play to allow Hellewell to power over for a try. Walker missed the extras.
The Wolfpack increased their lead after the break through tries from Ricky Leutele and Nick Rawsthorne, but the Eagles hit-back with their second try on 56 minutes. After Hellewell almost scrambled over, the hosts found a gap with Anthony Thackeray’s inside pass taken on by Josh Guzdek who crashed over the line. Walker converted.
Aston’s side were giving an impressive account of themselves in the second stanza, but were powerless to stop Andy Ackers who powered over for a converted try.
It was the hosts who finished in the ascendancy though as Ryan Millar was denied just short after chasing his own kick. Aston's side had the last word with Brad Knowles going over after some fine build-up, and Walker converted to add respectability.
Eagles: Guzdek; Millar, Ogden, Hellewell, Blackmore; Walker, Thackeray; Moran, Davey, Knowles; Farrell, Davies; Brown. Interchange: Crookes, Hindmarsh, Makelim, Broadbent.
Scorers: Tries: Wallace (6), Dixon (13, 18), Kay (27), Stanley (30), Leutele (47), Rawsthorne (52), Ackers (64) Goals: Wallace 5/8
Toronto: O’Brien; Kay, Stanley, Leutele, Russell; Wallace, McCrone; Sidlow, Ackers, Lussick; Dixon, Thompson; Wilkin. Interchange: Rawsthorne, Sims, Mullally, Olbison.
Scorers: Tries: Hellewell (39), Guzdek (56), Knowles (78) Goals: Walker 2/3
Referee: Billy Pearson