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Sheffield Eagles v Swinton Lions

Sunday 3rd February 2019, 15:00pm

Championship - Round: 1

Stats over last 8 encounters

Points

259
187

Wins

7
1

Loses

1
7

Tries

46
33

Sheffield Eagles ran out 64-10 winners against Swinton Lions in front of a bumper crowd at the Olympic Legacy Park.

Ten of the Eagles’ match day squad were new signings and four got on the scoresheet, with Joel Farrell, James Glover, Josh Guzdek and Anthony Thackeray all touching down.

Thackeray bagged four tries in less than 20 minutes during a dominant second half performance.

The game had only just begun when a stoppage occurred as Will Hope was stretchered from the field.

Everyone at the Eagles wishes Will all the best with his recovery.

Thackeray was always going to be at the heart of the Eagles attack and he laid on the first try of the game for the impressive Oliver Davies. Pat Walker couldn’t convert.

On ten minutes, the hosts were over again as a perfectly worked scrum play ended with Ryan Millar streaking over. Walker was on target with his second conversion attempt.

The left flank of Sheffield, starring Millar and James Glover, was causing Swinton all sorts of trouble in the first half and it was the latter who touched down for Sheffield’s third try of the contest. Millar found space down the wing, played a pass to Walker who then fed Glover. Walker struck the conversion wide.

Guzdek, Corey Makelim and Joel Farrell added tries in the space of four minutes as Swinton failed to quieten a rampant Eagles side. Walker notched two from three for a 30-0 half-time lead.

Ryan Gray got Swinton on the scoreboard after 45 minutes before ex-Eagle Oscar Thomas fired a conversion off target.

The Thackeray Show commenced on 52 minutes as the experienced scrum-half notched an 11-minute hat-trick.

Breaks from Davies and Aaron Brown laid the foundations for his first two scores while he finished off another move in the final quarter to complete the hat-trick.

Ben Blackmore and Thackeray both kept their foot on the gas with a try apiece before Farrell and Rob Fairclough were shown yellow cards for a fracas.

Billy Brickhill registered a consolation for the Lions three minutes from time but Sheffield had the last word as Millar walked over for the final try of the contest.

The perfect start to life in the 2019 Betfred Championship for Mark Aston’s men, who travel to Barrow Raiders next Sunday.

By Dan Fowler

Eagles: Guzdek (1T), Millar (2T), Glover (1T), Crookes, Blackmore (1T); Walker (8G), Thackeray (4T); Knowles, Davey, James; Farrell (1T, 1YC), Davies (1T), Brown. 

Interchange: Makelim (1T), Pick, Esslemont, P Burns

Lions: Hansen, Butt, Lloyd, Ashton, Gray (1T), Thomas (1G), Fairclough (1YC); Bennion, Waterworth, Hatton; Jones, Halton, Hope. 

Interchange: Austin, Brickhill (1T), Jones, Kenga.