9th July 2018, 12:08
Eagles beaten in historic Canadian clash
Sheffield Eagles’ first trip to Canada to face Toronto Wolfpack ended in a 68-4 defeat against the Championship league leaders.
Jake Spedding scored the Eagles’ only try of the contest while Chase Stanley and Adam Higson both notched braces for Toronto.
Backed by a brilliant Sheffield following, the Eagles weren’t afraid to throw the ball around and play some expansive rugby which almost led to more points.
The Wolfpack opened the scoring with two tries in the opening nine minutes thanks to Stanley and Ryan Brierley.
However, Sheffield soon responded as Spedding latched on to a Toronto pass before running 90 metres to the try-line. After 20 minutes, the Eagles were still in the race against their full-time counterparts with just eight points – 12-4 - separating the sides.
Experienced duo Bob Beswick and Richard Whiting were next over the whitewash for the hosts before Sheffield went down to 12 men.
Captain Matt James was placed in the sin-bin after a shoulder charge which didn’t go down too well with the Wolfpack players on the pitch.
Despite being a man down, the Eagles put pressure on the Canadians’ line with two consecutive sets but Toronto held firm.
Higson finished off the scoring in the first half with a four-pointer two minutes from time.
Higson was first on the scoresheet after the restart before Nick Rawsthorne and Blake Wallace also touched down.
In the final quarter Gareth O’Brien, Stanley, Liam Kay and Andrew Dixon all crossed the whitewash.
Dixon’s effort was before Sheffield attempted to score an inventive try which started from a scrum play and a kick from Menzie Yere.
Unfortunately, it didn’t quite pay off but it certainly showed the Eagles weren’t resting on their laurels despite the scoreline being against them.
Sheffield’s next game comes against Dewsbury Rams at the Olympic Legacy Park on Sunday.
By Dan Fowler