1895 Cup SF: Leigh vs Sheffield Preview
Sheffield Eagles will be aiming for a spot in the 1895 Cup Final on Sunday when Mark Aston’s side travel to Leigh to face the high-flying Centurions.
Sheffield are seeking revenge on the Centurions following a Championship defeat to Adrian Lam's men at the LSV last Friday night.
The Eagles' were without the influential pair Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e and Anthony Thackereay as Izaac Farrell and Tom Holmes partnered each other in the halves. Matty Chrimes returned to the fold while Jason Bass moved to full-back.
Leigh led 18-0 at the break; Adam Sidlow crashed over for the first score of the game before Tom Amone’s offload put Ben Reynolds through for a score.
Ed Chamberlain muscled over for Leigh’s third try on the right edge, which gave the hosts a three-score lead at the break.
Adrian Lam’s side continued to dominate the contest after the interval and registered the first try of the second half through Keanan Brand on the right edge.
Sam Stone added a try to extend the hosts’ lead before Tom Holmes scored Sheffield’s only try of the game.
Holmes picked up a loose ball and took advantage of a static Leigh defence to go over for the visitors.
Krisnan Inu converted his fifth conversion of the game following James McDonnell's try which gave the hosts a 34-6 victory.
Key Battle - Ben Reynolds | Anthony Thackeray
This weekend’s key battle selection is between the playmakers, Ben Reynolds and Anthony Thackeray.
Thackeray missed last week’s contest due to an injury the 36-year-old picked up in the Eagles’ victory over Newcastle Thunder a week prior to the visit to Leigh.
The Eagles’ talismanic figure has been included in Mark Aston’s 21 man squad alongside Izaac Farrell and Featherstone loanee Tom Holmes, giving the Sheffield Director of Rugby a few options to play with.
Thackeray guided the Eagles to victory in the inaugural 1895 Cup in 2019 with a man-of-the-match performance and he’ll be looking to return to the final stage of the competition, in this his final season in professional rugby.
Reynolds, now in his third spell with the Centurions, scored Leigh’s second of six tries last Friday.
The ex-Featherstone half will look to manage proceedings well again on Sunday in the absence of Joe Mellor.
Former Salford stand-off Ata Hingano started at ‘six’ last time out to form a well-struck partnership with the 28-year-old.
Tickets for Sunday’s semi-final can be purchased from venuetoolbox.com/leighsportsvillage.
By Lewis Coleman, graphic by Alex Coleman