Sheffield Eagles made a perfect start to their exile at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium with a convincing 40-6 drubbing of London Broncos.
The Eagles firmly put their opening night defeat to Dewsbury to bed with a comprehensive display running in eight tries on a bitterly cold afternoon to get their Kingstone Press Championship season up and running.
Director of Rugby Mark Aston included back-rower Jon Molloy following his loan move from Wakefield but John Davies and Jamie Langley remained sidelined.
Following a wintery deluge in the build-up to kick off Aston’s exiles quickly warmed their hearty band of supporters who had made the pilgrimage up the M18
After sustained pressure on the Broncos’ line skipper Michael Knowles crashed over to score after two minutes but Dominic Brambani’s conversion was dragged wide of the posts.
After the Eagles stemmed a period of London pressure they turned over possession on the Broncos’ 20 metre line. A clever kick through from Kyle Briggs saw debutant Molloy pounce on the loose ball to give the home side a 10 point advantage following a Brambani conversation.
It was to get even better for the Eagles on 23 minutes when they powered deep into Broncos’ territory before Brambani’s kick into the in-goal area was seized upon by Quentin Laulu-Togagae who touched down. Brambani nailed the conversion to put Aston’s side 16 points in front.
After a long delay following injury to London full-back Richie Mathers, Eagles capitalised on a costly handling error allowing Briggs to run in an easy try. Brambani missed the conversion.
The Eagles picked up where they left off in the second half hitting the Broncos straight after the restart with their sixth try.
The visitors had no answer to Briggs’ grubber kick into the in-goal area which squirmed between a ruck of bodies before Misi Taulapapa touched down. Brambani failed with the conversion attempt.
After a short period of Broncos pressure the Eagles clinically added to their impressive score before the hour mark. Cory Aston chipped to the far corner and after Taulapapa palmed the ball backwards, Sam Smeaton gleefully collected to score his first try since joining the club to make it 28-0. Patch Walker failed to add the extras.
London finally got on the scoresheet through Rhys Williams but it proved to be a mere consolation with Aston’s side having the last word running in two late tries through Duane Straugheir and Scott Turner, both converted by Walker and Brambani, to add gloss to an impressive performance.
Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Smeaton, Taulapapa, Briggs, Brambani, Battye, Davey, Thorpe, Knowles, Straugheir, Walker. Subs: Aston, Tonks, Worrincy, Molloy.
Scorers: Tries: Knowles (2), Molloy (15), Laulu-Togagae (23), Briggs (33), Taulapapa (44), Smeaton (54), Straugheir (74), Turner (80). Goals: Brambani 3/6, Walker 1/ 2.
London: Mathers, Williams, Farrer, Naigama, Hellewell, Thomas, Keyes, Slyney, Nasso, Cordoba, Harrison, Lovegrove, Garside. Subs: Dwyer, Wallace, Everett, Dollapi.
Scorers: Tries: Williams (57) Goals: Naiqama 1/1
Referee: Dave Merrick