Sheffield Eagles 64 Swinton Lions 10: Eagles kick off new campaign with scintillating display

Sheffield Eagles' Ben Blackmore in action against Swinton Lions.
Sheffield Eagles' Ben Blackmore in action against Swinton Lions.
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Sheffield Eagles kicked off the new campaign with a scintillating display after a 64-10 demolition of Swinton Lions.

The Eagles transferred their pre-season feel-good factor onto the field with a performance full of zip and energy which left their opponents well beaten.

Director of rugby Mark Aston witnessed a positive opening to the latest new dawn which included 10 of his close season new arrivals.

Before the Eagles found their first-half swagger, the game took a unfortunate turn when after just 25 seconds ex-Eagle Will Hope exiting the contest on a stretcher after an awkward twist.

After a lengthy stoppage, the Eagles stormed downfield when good work from James Davey and Anthony Thackeray allowed the impressive Oliver Davies to cross for the opening score. Pat Walker missed the extras.

The home side increased the advantage after smart work from James Glover allowed Ryan Millar to burst over down the left, and this time Walker bagged the extras.

After some brief moments of indiscipline, the Eagles hit their stride again when a burst from Millar gave the hosts prime position. His pass inside found Walker who gave Glover an easy run to the line.

The Eagles looked fluid in attack and another scything break by Davies created the opening for Guzdek to cross for the fourth try, converted by Walker.

The points continued to flow with Corey Makelim burrowing over from dummy-half for another converted score, then Davey’s grubber was touched down by Joel Farrell, but Walker hit the post with the conversion.

Ryan Gray bagged Swinton’s first try after the break, but the Eagles were soon on song with a sweeping move involving Davies and Guzdek, finished by Thackeray for a converted score.

The momentum continued when breaks by Davey and Blackmore created space for Aaron Brown who switched the ball inside for Thackeray’s second try.

The hat-trick wasn’t far away as Brad Knowles teed up the ex-Featherstone ace for a converted score in front of the sticks.

Further tries for Blackmore and a fourth for Thackeray took the points passed 50, before Billy Brickhill’s consolation score for Swinton.

The last word went to the Eagles who capped a great display with a converted Millar score.

Eagles: Guzdek; Millar, Glover, Crookes, Blackmore; Walker, Thackeray; Knowles, Davey, James; Farrell, Davies; Brown. Interchange: Makelim, Pick, P. Burns, Esslemont.

Scorers: Tries: Davies (5), Millar (8, 80), Glover (21), Guzdek (27), Makelim (29), Farrell (31), Thackeray (50, 57, 62, 70), Blackmore (65), Millar (80) Goals: Walker 8/12

Swinton: Hansen; Butt, Lloyd, Ashton, Gray; Thomas, Fairclough; Bennion, Waterworth, Hatton; A. Jones, Halton; Hope. Interchange: Austin, Brickhill, P. Jones, Kenga.

Scorers: Tries: Gray (45) Brickhill (78) Goals: Thomas 1/2

Attendance: 1,259