Betfred Championship R13: Sheffield vs York Preview
Sheffield Eagles will be searching for back-to-back league victories on Thursday afternoon when York City Knights visit the Olympic Legacy Park.
Sheffield come into the contest on the back of a homecoming win against Widnes Vikings and will be hoping for another triumph to start their quick turnaround off with a bang.
The Eagles play the Knights on Thursday afternoon before they make the trip to Newcastle Thunder on Sunday, giving just two days rest to the part-time outfit over the extended Jubilee weekend.
Last Time Out
Despite starting poorly last time out against the Vikings, the Eagles went into the half-time sheds with a slender lead.
The Eagles trailed 0-12 after 10 minutes after tries from Lloyd Roby and Sam Wilde put a temporary hold on the party atmosphere.
Ben Jones-Bishop had the honour of becoming the first Eagles try-scorer at the Olympic Legacy Park Community Stadium after 15 minutes.
The Jamaican's try was followed up by Jason Bass with the Eagles' No.5’s converted try levelling up the score.
A penalty goal six minutes before the halftime hooter was kicked by Izaac Farrell meaning Sheffield led 14-12 at the break.
It was all Sheffield after the interval as the Eagles settled into their new home in style.
Kris Welham finished off a well-worked move to the right edge with an acrobatic dive in the corner before Bass went over for a try following a set scrum play from Sheffield.
Mikey Wood was next to score for the hosts, the former Bradford forward barged off the Widnes defence to power his way over.
Sheffield’s last try of the night came from Izaac, who showed his quality to spot a gap and step the Widnes full-back as the Eagles rounded off an exhilarating 14-minute period.
Danny Craven and Ryan Ince both notched consolations for the Vikings, who made the final scoreline look more respectable.
The Championship returns to action following the Challenge Cup/1895 Cup Final weekend and the Knights will be hopeful of a return to victory following a 24-40 loss at home to Simon Grix’s Halifax Panthers side.
York opened the scoring after five minutes when Liam Harris got on the end of Jamie Ellis grubber kick to the right of the posts.
Halifax levelled through Lachlan Walmsley’s converted try six minutes later before the Knights hit back with back-to-back scores.
Ellis was involved again with his short ball allowing Jack Teanby to go over before his pass assisted Matty Marsh’s try on 27 minutes.
Despite trailing 18-6 with eight minutes till the halftime hooter, it was Halifax who went into the sheds with the advantage thanks to three tries in six minutes.
Walmsley added his second before Brandon Moore and James Woodburn-Hall scored to give the Panthers an 18-22 lead at the break.
The City Knights regained their lead shortly after the break when former Halifax man Harris fooled the opposition defence with a dummy before scoring.
That was to be York’s last try of the match, however, with still almost half an hour left to play.
The in-form Panthers took control with three more scores to stretch out their points total to 40.
Dan Murray added a double either side of Walmsley’s hat-trick try as Halifax took two valuable points back to West Yorkshire.
Key Battle: Tyler Dickinson | Jack Teanby
This weekend’s key battle selection is between the prop forwards and in particular Tyler Dickinson and Jack Teanby
The Eagles will be without two of their key forwards for the next four fixtures with Joel Farrell and Mikey Wood set to begin their suspension periods following their Grade D punching charges in Sheffield’s defeat at Halifax.
The duo’s omission from the squad will no doubt put an extra impetus on Dickinson, the squad will be without its vice-captain in Farrell and a mainstay in Wood.
Dickinson, who won the club’s player of the season award last year, will be looking to take the adversity in his and the Eagles’ stride when the Knights visit the Steel City on Thursday afternoon.
The Eagles will be boosted by Yusuf Aydin and Isaac Shaw, with the Wakefield pair included in the Eagles 21-man squad following their impressive debuts against Widnes.
Former Dewsbury forward Jack Teanby heads up York’s power pack which could include Pauli Pauli and Masi Matongo.
The forward has been a key figure in the Knights side since his arrival to North Yorkshire in 2019.
By Lewis Coleman, graphic by Alex Coleman