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Leigh Centurions v Sheffield Eagles

Sunday 12th August 2018, 15:00pm

Super 8s - Round: 1

Stats over last 8 encounters

Points

390
150

Wins

8
0

Loses

0
8

Tries

69
28

One of the Eagles’ toughest tests in the Championship Shield comes first as they face Leigh Centurions in round one.

Two weeks after their 34-10 loss at the Leigh Sports Village, the Eagles will return to the same venue looking for revenge and to move one step closer to safety.

Sheffield start their campaign six points clear of the drop zone while at the other end of the table, Leigh and Featherstone will fight it out for home advantage in the Shield final.

Last Time Out

Following the Eagles’ defeat against Leigh, there was a feeling of ‘what might have been’ considering the part-timers were 10-4 ahead at the break.

Sheffield’s defence was nothing short of heroic in the first period, making last ditch tackles on multiple occasions to deny the Centurions.

That was until 40 seconds from the break when Ricky Bailey dived over to break his side’s duck.

However, that didn't take away from a brilliant first half performance as Sheffield went into the sheds a converted score up thanks to tries from James Bentley and Cory Aston.

Bentley crashed over from short range while Aston finished off a superb team move.

The second half was a different story altogether, unfortunately for Sheffield.

An Ilias Bergal hat-trick, complemented by Matty Dawson-Jones’ brace, gave Leigh clear daylight and new signing Will Dagger also got on the scoresheet for the hosts.

A good effort from the Eagles but they will know that a few extra gears have to be found if they are to rewrite the script on this occasion.

Key Battle

Bergal and Dawson-Jones turned the game on its head in the second half which brought cheers from the Centurions crowd, despite knowing their side’s top four ambitions were down the drain.

Every time the ball was passed to Dawson-Jones, either his strong running game or adept offloading ability came into play. Bergal provided some acrobatics in the corner as the Centurions piled down the left wing to seal the game.

The Eagles will have taken positives from their first half performance but a side like Leigh can turn on the style at any moment and that’s exactly what they did at the LSV.

When Sheffield shifted the ball in the manner they did during the first half, it certainly brought back memories of past Eagles teams and their expansive styles.

Sheffield chief Mark Aston will be wanting to see more of the same in a match where the South Yorkshire club will be underdogs.