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Betfred Championship R6: Whitehaven vs Sheffield Preview


Sheffield Eagles will be aiming for a fourth straight win on Sunday when Mark Aston’s side travel to Cumbria for the second time this month.

Sheffield come into the contest following victories over Hunslet Club Parkside, Workington Town and most recently North Wales Crusaders.

The Eagles' most impressive victory in recent weeks came against Workington before they registered 50 points for the second consecutive game in Saturday’s Challenge Cup tie against North Wales.

The hosts’ first half points all came from full-back Tommy Johnson.

Johnson opened the scoring after three minutes and added to his and Crusaders’ points total following Liam Johnson, Matty Chrimes (x2) and Anthony Thackeray touching down for the Eagles.

Chrimes went over for his hat-trick moments before the half-time hooter sounded, following a huge downfield kick from Izaac Farrell.

It was the Eagles who opened up a handsome lead after the break; Blake Broadbent and Kris Welham adding scores before Chrimes grabbed his fourth of the day with a spectacular effort in the corner.

Joel Farrell’s walk-in was converted by brother Izaac as Sheffield hit 50 points.

Head Coach Mark Aston was left frustrated by his side's response to losing a man after Bayley Liu was sent off.

The Crusaders took advantage of the extra man to add four tries in the final 15 minutes; Jack Holmes, Pat Ah Van, Callum Hazard and Gav Rodden the scorers.

Whitehaven have responded to a slow start to the season in the last two game weeks, producing back-to-back wins over London Broncos and Dewsbury after defeats to Leigh and Barrow in the first two weeks of the season.

Haven’s most recent result, a 38-12 victory over York City Knights has earned them a home tie against Super League giants St Helens.

Jonty Gorley side had an impressive lead at half-time thanks to tries from Andrew Bulman, Connor Holliday, Ryan King, Geronimo Doyle and Nikau Williams.

Brendan O’Hagan and Joe Brown touched down in the second half for York either side of second scores from King and Holliday.

 Key Battle: Geronimo Doyle | Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e

This weekend’s key battle selection is between the two full-backs.

Whitehaven’s Doyle joined the club following Swinton Lions’ relegation to Betfred League One.

Doyle replaced Gregg McNally in the close season and he will be aiming for a third score of the year after impressing in last weekend’s win over York.

Sheffield have a fresh option to fill the void created by Josh Guzdek’s injury.

Eagles legend Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e could make his second debut for the club at the Recreation Ground after signing a month-long loan from Keighley Cougars.

The 37-year-old, who scored 183 tries for the Eagles from 2011-2016, faces stiff competition from Jason Bass and Ben Jones-Bishop who have both been used at number one for Sheffield in recent weeks.

By Lewis Coleman, graphic by Alex Coleman