Sheffield Eagles produce 'wow' attacking effort as Ben Jones-Bishop hat-trick downs Newcastle Thunder

Former Super League champion Ben Jones-Bishop walked in a hat-trick of tries as Sheffield Eagles earned a momentum-building win over Newcastle Thunder – though they didn’t have it all their own way.

Sunday, 24th April 2022, 2:38 pm

A blistering first-half display put the Eagles well ahead in the battle before a committed effort by the struggling Tyneside club offered a more even second period.

It left boss Mark Ashton happy with their third win in three and looking forward to back-to-back matches against high-flying Leigh Centurions. Newcastle opened the scoring in the opening minutes before the Eagles roared back to score 30 points in the first half.

Speaking honestly, Ashton said: “We were a bit scratchy to start the game, I thought we were poor for the first 10 minutes and the next 30 minutes we were outstanding.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Ben Jones-Bishop wants Sheffield Eagles to aim for the Betfred Championship play-offs next season (photo by George Wood/Getty Images).

“At 30-4 at half-time a lot may have thought the game was over, but they went in at half-time, had some harsh words and came out with vigour. We were flat, erratic, we lost our composure.

“We were relived to get the result and get those two points in the bag. We’d been really good in previous weeks, we were good in patches today but not for the full 80 minutes.”

Jones-Bishop’s triple score was the highlight of an impressive attacking display.

“Wow,” Ashton said. “Some of the things we did in the 30 minutes before half-time were spectacular, some of the tries were class. That’s what we’ve got in us.

“Bish has got another hat-trick. He’s been great and controlled, some of the things we did in that period were top drawer. We’ve got those players.

“There are areas we need to look at and be honest about. We’ve earned the right to put a smile on our face and we’ve ticked a box going three out of three, but we know the next few games will be different and tougher if we serve up what we did in the second half.

“It’s a slap in the chops and hopefully that gets us back down to earth and can re-focus us going into a big game next weekend against one of the two top teams in the division.”