Betfred Championship R22: Sheffield vs Whitehaven Preview
Sheffield Eagles will play their third game in eight days when they face Whitehaven at the Olympic Legacy Park on Sunday afternoon.
It has been a mixed bag for the Eagles, who started their crammed schedule with a victory at the Summer Bash over London Broncos before following up with a loss against Batley Bulldogs.
Whitehaven’s survival hopes were boosted last weekend when they beat their nearest and dearest Workington Town at Headingley.
Last Time Out
Sheffield suffered a 32-22 defeat away at Batley in midweek.
It was a close contest for the majority of the match but the Bulldogs did extend their advantage to three scores in the last ten minutes to seal victory.
Playing uphill in the first half, Sheffield were just four points down at the break with their tries coming from Connor Bower and Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e. Dane Manning notched a brace for the Bulldogs, with Tom Gilmore kicking three goals.
In the second half, Luke Hooley and Joel Farrell swapped scores for the hosts and visitors respectively before Batley took the game away from their opponents.
Johnny Campbell and Gilmore scored tries to seal victory, leaving Anthony Thackeray’s late try as mere consolation.
Whitehaven beat Workington at the Summer Bash with a late Andrew Bulman brace the highlight for Jonty Gorley’s men.
It was a slow start for Haven, who were 4-0 down thanks to two Carl Forber penalties but they did turn this around before the interval.
Will Evans and Luke Broadbent both touched down as Haven went into the break 12-4 ahead.
Forber fired back for Town in the second half with a converted try.
Whitehaven had enough to get over the line against their rivals. Bulman’s double followed a Tom Walker effort.
Key Battle - Connor Bower | Ryan King
Two form back-rowers go head-to-head this weekend in the shape of Connor Bower and Ryan King.
Quietly going about his business, Bower’s transition from centre to back-row has been a successful one with a number of consistent performances in the past few months.
For Haven. King provides a silky offload game and powerful carries which may cause Sheffield some issues at the weekend.
It will be an entertaining contest across the park on Sunday but to see who comes out on top in this second-row battle will be intriguing.
By Dan Fowler, graphic by Alex Coleman