Swinton Lions 18-26 Sheffield Eagles
Sunday 19th August 2018, 15:00pm
Super 8s - Round: 2
Joe Brown, Rob Fairclough, Mike Butt,
Rob Fairclough 3,
Menzie Yere, Simon Brown 2, James Bentley, Jon Magrin,
Simon Brown 3,
Sheffield Eagles all but secured their Betfred Championship status with a 26-18 victory over Swinton Lions.
The Eagles overturned a 14-4 half-time deficit by outscoring the hosts four tries to one after the restart, which included a brace from Simon Brown.
Menzie Yere notched Sheffield’s only try of the first period before James Bentley and Jon Magrin complemented Brown’s efforts with a try apiece.
Eagles chief Mark Aston made two changes from the side that lost at Leigh in the first round of the Championship Shield.
Max Garcia and Iliess Macani both made way for Magrin and Ben Blackmore.
Swinton broke the deadlock in the 13th minute with an impressive score from Joe Brown. A lofted kick to the wing saw Brown leap high to collect and touch down. Rob Fairclough converted.
It didn’t take long for Sheffield to respond, four minutes in fact, as Menzie Yere capitalised on a Lions knock-on by scrambling over the whitewash. Cory Aston couldn’t convert from the corner.
Neither side were able to take the game by the scruff of the neck but Swinton finished the half on top as they registered a converted try and a penalty.
Fairclough pounced on an Eagles mistake to cross and the half-back was on hand to add the extras.
He was called upon for the last kick of the half too as Swinton extended their lead with a penalty. What would have been a decent touch-finder was batted back into play by Yere and Swinton regathered. With the Eagles’ defence at sixes and sevens on their own line, Oscar Thomas committed a professional foul and was given ten minutes.
With seconds left on the clock, Fairclough opted for the two points and he duly converted.
After the interval, Sheffield looked the better side - even with 12 men - and they got a reward for their perseverance as Brown dummied his way over the line. He converted his own try.
With the final quarter looming, Brown completed his brace after the half-back supported a brilliant break from Ben Blackmore. With the score at 14-14, Brown couldn’t convert to put Sheffield ahead.
The tide turned once again just after the hour mark when Swinton regained their lead following numerous sets deep in Sheffield territory. Swinton saw an overlap from a scrum and Mike Butt squeezed over in the corner. Fairclough was off target with the conversion.
The Eagles needed something from somewhere and they struck gold on 67 minutes. Brown’s cross-field kick was well taken by James Bentley, who did the rest. Brown converted, with a slice of luck from the crossbar, to give the Eagles a slender lead.
A Cory Aston ball-steal on Swinton’s 10 metre line gave Sheffield a perfect chance to wrap the game up.
The powerful Magrin launched himself on to a pass and the former Bradford and London prop wasn’t going to be stopped. Brown converted for a two-score lead, making sure Sheffield would go home with the spoils.
By Dan Fowler