Sheffield Eagles 18 Halifax 50
SHEFFIELD Eagles seven-match winning run came to an abrupt end as Halifax toppled them off top place in the Championship.
Eagles struggled for possession and never recovered from a three try burst in six minutes leading up to the midway point in the first half in their first game of the season at Bramall Lane a game live on satellite TV.
There was a brief second half revival but after Dominic Brambani was sin binned on 66 minutes a late rush of tries sealed the game for the visitors.
Loose forward Craig Ashall followed up a chip kick from Paul Handforth to touch down under the posts for the first try. Lee Patterson added the goal.
Fax kept up the pressure on a shaky Eagles defence with Penkywicz going in from dummy half. Second row Dane Manning had a clear run for the third try. Fax’s half-backs were making use of great possession and after Steve Tyrer was held near the line Ashall bulldozed his way over.
A spark of hope finally came for the Eagles three minutes from half time when scrum-half Brambani squeezed over and Simon Brown added the goal to cut the lead to 20-6.
The improvement continued after the break with Liam Higgins running on to a long pass to go in under the posts. Brown added the goal.
The tables were turned in dramatic fashion as an intercepted pass by Handforth took Fax down the field and prop Luke Ambler went over with Paterson adding the goal.
Dane McDonald forced his way over. Brown added the goal and the Eagles were back in the game.
Eagles Brambani was yellow carded for a late challenge and immediately Fax made the game safe with tries from Penkywicz, Ross Divorty and Paterson with the winger adding the goals.
Ben Heaton was gifted a try at the end and Paterson’s seventh goal brought up the 50 points for Fax.
EAGLES: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Taulapapa, Morrison; Brown, Brambani; Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Szostak, Green, Hirst. Subs: McDonald, Higgins, Knowles, Alex Rowe.
TRIES: Brambani, 37, Higgins, 43, McDonald 63.
GOALS: Brown 3/3.
HALIFAX: Fieldhouse; Reiffe, Tryer, Heaton, Paterson; Handforth, Thackeray; Ambler, Penkywicz, Gannon, Manning, Robinson, Ashall. Subs: Casey, Divorty, Hesketh, Aizue.
TRIES: Ashall, 14, 28, Penkywicz, 17, Manning, 20, Ambler, 50, Divoorty, 69, Peterson, 71, Heaton, 75.
GOALS: Paterson 7/9.
referee: Gareth Hewer.