Rugby league: Leigh 18 Sheffield Eagles 40

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SHEFFIELD Eagles extended their winning run to five games after they took a first-half stranglehold in the top-six clash with Leigh.

Eagles forwards dominated, giving half-backs Dominic Brambani and Patch Walker the platform to take control.

In the first half the Eagles ran in four tries without reply with prop Liam Higgins, making his 200th senior appearance, putting in a big set.

Full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae was back to his tryscoring ways with two after a slowish start to the campaign.

Last year he set an Eagles record for the number of tries scored in one season.

Eagles’ surge started on 16 minutes when a well-worked move saw Laulu-Togagae sweep past two defenders to go under the posts and give Brambani an easy conversion.

Loose-forward Joe Hirst broke through the middle to increase the lead. Brambani added the goal and then a penalty as a ragged Leigh paid for a lack of discipline.

The scrum-half set up a second try for Laulu-Togagae, who went under the posts, and then added the goal.

On the half-time hooter centre Menzie Yere blasted 30 metres down the left for a try in the corner to give the Eagles a commanding 24-0 lead.

Leigh hit back with tries after the restart from prop Ryan Duffy and loose-forward Sam Hopkins, with Martin Ridyard adding the goals.

Eagles steadied and crushed the fightback with Tom Armstrong running in to push out the margin.

Duffy went over for his second try and Ridyard added his third goal before, following a penalty, Scott Turner took a long pass to go over on his return to the Eagles team. Brambani added the goal.

Yere was put on report after a clash with Stuart Littler.

Misi Taulapapa took a Brambani chip to complete the tryscoring. Brambani made it six goals from eight attempts.

Leigh: McNally; Maden, Littler, Gardener, Pownall; Ridyard, Brierley; Taylor, Beswick, Parker, Finnigan, Goulden, Hopkins. Subs: Penkywicz, Spencer, Duffy, Briscoe.

Tries: Duffy, 43, 62, Hopkins, 50. Goals: Ridyard 3/3.

EAGLES: Laulu-Togagea; Turner, Yere, Armstrong, Taulapapa; Walker, Brambani; Higgins, Henderson, Stringer, Knowles, Straugheir, Hirst. Subs: Davey, Green, Szostak, Howieson.

Tries: Laulu-Togagae, 16, 35, Hirst, 23, Yere, 40, Armstrong, 55, Turner, 65, Taulapapa, 76. Goals Brambani: 6/8.

Referee: George Stokes.

Attendance: 1,581.