Match report: Sheffield Eagles 13 Batley Bulldogs 6

Sheffield Eagles Peter Green in action against Batley Bulldogs.
Sheffield Eagles Peter Green in action against Batley Bulldogs.
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Sheffield Eagles edged their way to hard-earned win in their first home game of the season.

After a scoreless first half the Eagles scored two tries in 12 minutes after the restart to get the defence of their Championship title underway.

Both teams were guilty of handling errors but Batley had the better of the early possession with Tom Applegarth having the best chance but failing to take the final pass.

Dominic Brambani was trying to keep the Eagles moving but too often moves broke down.

Stand-off Ben Black worked hard to bring the Bulldogs forwards, including former Eagles prop Alex Rowe, into the game. The pressure was on the hosts defence with Miles Greenwood diving over the line but the try was ruled out for a forward pass.

A chip kick from Patch Walker under the posts raised the temperature for the Eagles fans but it was too long for the chasers.

A late, high tackle on Quentin Laulu-Togagae as he took a high kick produced a minor scuffle and a telling off for Batley’s John Davies.

For the first time in years, after 40 minutes, the score was 0-0.

The deadlock was broken five minutes after the restart when given possession by a penalty Eagles’ prop forward Mitch Stringer was almost under the posts but offloaded to fullback Quentin Laulu-Togagae who squeezed over. Walker added the goal.

Only Misi Taulupapa knocking the ball dead prevented Batley earning an instant response.

Taking the lead injected a more positive edge to the Eagles play and Brambani kicked a 40-20. He made the possession count, following up with a kick to the right wing which was palmed inside by Taulapapa for centre Tom Armstrong to race in for a try on his Eagles home debut.

Batley responded through Jason Walton. Tom Hemingway added the goal.

Eagles edged ahead with a low drop goal by Walker 15 metres out after Liam Higgins was held on the line.

* EAGLES: Laulu-Togagae; Morrison, Yere, Armstrong, Taulapapa; Walker, Brambani; Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Knowles, Green, Szostak. Subs: Davey, Roche, Straugheir, Higgins.

* Referee: Ronnie Laughton

* Attendance: 1,008.