15th April 2018, 18:36
Eagles beaten by dominant Centurions
Sheffield Eagles were condemned to a 72-20 defeat against Leigh Centurions at the Olympic Legacy Park this afternoon.
Craig Hall starred for the visitors with a five-minute hat-trick and four tries overall while ex-Eagle Jack Owens and full-back Peter Mata’utia both notched braces.
Sheffield, who were 50-4 down at the break, improved significantly in the second period but poor defence was the order of the day for Mark Aston’s men.
The big positive for the South Yorkshire club was a debut try for rising star Blake Broadbent, who will have learnt a lot from today’s match against the Championship heavyweights.
Corey Makelim was also handed his debut for the Eagles but the opening minutes pointed towards an afternoon to forget for all concerned.
Matty Dawson and Mata’utia got the ball rolling with tries in the fourth and eighth minute respectively, Ben Reynolds converting one from two.
Mata’utia soon completed his brace before Hall stole the limelight with three quick-fire tries.
The first came direct from a scrum as he went over untouched before adding another after supporting a Bodene Thompson break.
Reynolds’ two conversions made it 0-28 on 20 minutes and the 30-point barrier was breached when the ex-Toronto captain broke downfield and evaded Ryan Millar to touch down. Reynolds, once again, was on target.
Kyle Lovett, Owens and Liam Hood all followed with four-pointers each as the Centurions reached a half-century before the interval.
Millar gave the Eagles fans something to cheer with the final try of the half, sparking chants of ‘easy, easy, easy!’ and ‘can we play you every week?’ from the home crowd.
After the break, Sheffield seemed reinvigorated and they notched the opening two tries of the second period.
James Bentley took an offload from Jack Ashworth and managed to find enough room in the corner to score before Oscar Thomas registered a sublime individual score.
The Scottish international chipped over the top of the defence, regathered the ball despite the attention of Mata’utia and raced to the line. He converted his own try for 14-50.
Leigh then decided to have their say on the second half with tries for Hall and Drew Hutchison before the biggest cheer of the day went up from the home fans.
In the final quarter, a Thomas grubber ricocheted off Mata’utia and into the hands of Broadbent who did the rest. Thomas goaled.
Owens and Kevin Larroyer capped off a straightforward day at the office for Leigh with a try apiece as the game petered out.
By Dan Fowler, picture by Simon Hall