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Sheffield Eagles 18-50 Halifax PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 29 March 2012 21:26

altThe Sheffield Eagles were brought back down to Earth with a bump as they fell to their first defeat of the season, losing 18-50 to Halifax at Bramall Lane.

The Eagles briefly threatened a comeback in the second half and got within eight points with just 15 minutes remaining, but a Dominic Brambani sin bin proved pivotal as Fax put the Eagles to the sword.

Sheffield had a strong first 10 minutes but failed to put any points on the board, and Halifax punished them by breaking the deadlock after 14 minutes.  Sean Penkywicz, who was a thorn in the Eagles side all evening, made the break from which the visitors forced a drop out.  The pressure was turned into points when Paul Handforth's grubber kick was latched on to by Craig Ashall who touched down.  Lee Paterson added the extras.

Three minutes later Fax extended their lead, that man Penkywicz scooting over the line from close range.  Paterson was this time un-successful with the goal attempt.

Anthony Thackery was the next man to breach the weak Eagles rearguard, and he fed Dane Manning for the big second-rower to throw the dummy and crash over in the right hand corner.  Paterson pushed the conversion wide.

A knock-on from Sheffield full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae was the source of Halifax's next points, giving them field position just 20 metres from the Eagles try line, and Ashall helped himself to his second try of the game.  Paterson made the score 0-20.

The video referee denied Andrew Henderson nine minutes before the break, but the home side finally got on the scoreboard six minutes later when Halifax stripped the ball in the tackle 10 metres out from their own line, giving Brambani the field position to touch down on the right.  Brown converted to send the Eagles into the sheds with a bit of hope.

The hope turned into belief three minutes after the interval, when Liam Higgins reduced the arrears by sprinting over the line under the posts after a penalty on halfway and a pinpoint pass from Brown.  The scrum-half added the simple extras.

A sustained period of pressure ended in disappointment for the hosts when Handforth intercepted the ball on his own try line and nearly ran the full length of the field before being hacked down 15 metres short.  It was a mere stay of execution for Sheffield though as Luke Ambler scored the four-pointer, which Paterson made into six.

Laulu-Togagae was the next to be denied by video referee Ian Smith, who ajudged Fax full-back Ryan Fieldhouse to have touched down in-goal before the Eagles man.  Consecutive drop-outs led to a try for Dane McDonald though, and Brown converted to bring the Eagles within eight points.

Sheffield had the momentum at this point but the game was turned on its head in a moment of madness from Brambani, who put a late shot on the Fax kicker and was duly sent to the sin bin.  This gave the visitors the field position to effectively kill the game, Penkywicz scoring his second try from dummy half.  Paterson converted.

Three more late tries followed for Fax to put an emphatic stamp on the scoreline.  Penkywicz created the first, putting Divorty in after Fieldhouse made a break downfield straight from the kick off.  The resulting kick off also concluded with a try, Manning this time making the hard yards and offloading for Paterson to get himself on the scoresheet, before Ben Heaton wrapped up the scoring from a Laulu-Togagae knock-on.  Paterson converted all three tries to make the final score 18-50.

Eagles: Laulu-Togagae, Turner, Yere, Taulapapa, Morrison, Brown, Brambani, Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Szostak, Green, Hirst.  Replacements: McDonald, Higgins, Knowles, Rowe.

Halifax: Fieldhouse, Reittie, Tyrer, Heaton, Paterson, Handforth, Thackery, Ambler, Penkywicz, Gannon, Manning, Robinson, Ashall.  Replacements: Casey, Divorty, Hesketh, Aizue.

Attendance: 1453

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 March 2012 21:49