Sheffield Eagles suffered another setback on home soil after a comprehensive 14-66 defeat to London Broncos.
Mark Aston’s depleted side were put to the sword for the second week running at the OLP, as high-flying Broncos maintained their top four challenge with a comfortable win.
Defensive frailties again came back to haunt the Eagles, who were missing a host of key players to injury, with Aston’s side now facing a daunting return fixture against the same opposition at the Trailfinders next week.
The Eagles gave a debut to new signing Thibault Franck alongside Oscar Thomas in the halves, whilst there was finally a first appearance of the season for Menzie Yere after clearance was given for his long awaited visa.
The pre-match boost of Yere’s involvement quickly dissipated when London struck after just four minutes. The lively Jay Pitts spun out of two tackles before crossing and the reliable Jarrod Sammut slotted the extras.
On nine minutes Pitts again danced his way through the line before handing on to Sammut for a converted score and Sadiq Adebiyi’s converted try five minutes later had the Eagles reeling. The hosts were given a lifeline on 20 minutes when London kicked out on the full, giving Aston’s side prime position from where Matty Costello crossed and Thomas converted.
The try didn’t inspire a comeback though with further converted scores from Sammut and Kieran Dixon giving the visitors a commanding lead at half-time.
The Broncos extended their advantage after the break with converted tries from Mark Ioane and Sammut – the latter completing his hat-trick.
Despite the dominance of the visitors, arguably the try of the game was produced by the Eagles as Jake Spedding jinked through the tackles on the way to a brilliant individual effort after starting his run deep inside his own half. Franck missed the extras.
Spedding’s solo effort proved to be a rare high point for the Eagles as the Broncos passed 50 points with further converted tries from Adebiyi and Alex Walker.
London piled on the points in the final quarter with a converted James Cunningham score, whilst Dixon eclipsed Spedding’s earlier heroics after showing electric pace to breeze through the line for a sublime try.
The last word went to the hosts as Costello bagged his second try at the death, but it did little to change another disappointing afternoon for Aston’s side.
Eagles: Costello; Millar, Yere, Spedding, Blackmore; Thomas, Franck; Pick, G, Burns, Magrin; Garcia, Davies; Ashworth. Interchange: P. Burns, Macani, Moran, Offerdahl.
Scorers: Costello (20, 79), Spedding (50) Tries: Thomas 1/1, Franck 0/2
London: Walker; Dixon, Channing, Kear, Williams; Pewhairangi, Sammut; Battye, Davis, Evans; Pitts. Harrison; Adebiyi. Interchange: Gee, Lovell, Ioane, Cunningham.
Scorers: Tries: Pitts (4), Sammut (9, 28, 48), Adebiyi (14, 58), Dixon (36, 75), Ioane (45), Walker (60), Cunningham (67) Goals: Sammut 11/11