Betfred Championship R8: Sheffield vs London Preview
Sheffield Eagles play host to London Broncos at the Eco-Power Stadium, Doncaster, on Saturday at 3pm.
The Eagles go into the contest following a convincing victory over Whitehaven in the 1895 Cup Playoff.
It hasn’t been a successful start to the year for London, who are currently in the relegation zone with one point from seven games.
Despite this, the capital club will have taken positives from their last three games - picking up a draw and two narrow defeats, both two-point losses to York and Bradford.
Last Time Out
Sheffield booked their place in the last four of the 1895 Cup thanks to a 40-6 victory over Whitehaven at the Millennium Stadium, Featherstone.
The experienced trio of Ben Jones-Bishop, Quentin Laulu-Togagae and Anthony Thackeray combined for seven of the Eagles’ eight tries - full-back Jason Bass scoring the other.
QLT registered a first half brace alongside scores from BJB and Thackeray but none of the four efforts were converted by Izaac Farrell.
Dion Aiye responded for Haven with the last touch of the first half, Connor Holliday’s conversion cutting Sheffield’s lead to just ten points - 16-6.
Bass was first on the scoresheet in the second half, closely followed by Jones-Bishop and Thackeray who completed their doubles.
The last try of the match went the way of Jones-Bishop, who chased a Thackeray kick directly from a scrum, to touch down.
It was a more successful 40 minutes from the tee for Farrell, who kicked four from four.
London came mightily close to their first victory of the year but were beaten by Bradford Bulls at the Cherry Red Records Stadium.
The Broncos looked to have won it with two minutes to go as Alex Walker claimed a high kick before touching down, only to have the effort controversially ruled out for double movement.
It was a game with just two tries scored, the first going the way of Bradford through Matty Dawson-Jones - converted by Dec Patton, who also kicked a penalty goal for an 0-8 half-time lead.
Lewis Bienek barged over for the hosts in the second period, with Sitiveni Moceidreke converting, but a gap of two points was as close as London got to their West Yorkshire counterparts.
Key Battle - Kris Welham | Jude Ferreira
Two centres at the opposite end of their respective careers will more than likely feature in Doncaster on Saturday.
Kris Welham had a stormer of a game against Whitehaven last weekend, assisting Ben Jones-Bishop and Anthony Thackeray for tries while causing havoc down the right flank.
This also includes a belting rib-tickler on Ryan King, which forced a knock-on.
Meanwhile, the Broncos have an up-and-coming centre in the shape of Jude Ferreira on a season-long loan from Hull FC.
Ferreira hasn’t made his debut for the Black and Whites as of yet but he is looking to gain important game-time for the Broncos.
The youngster scored in London’s first two league games of the year but hadn’t featured further until the recent fixture against Bradford.
Highly rated by his parent Super League club, the Eagles will be wanting to keep Ferreira under wraps at the weekend.
Saturday’s game at the Eco-Power Stadium is part of a double-header as Doncaster face Cornwall at 1pm.
Eagles Membership holders can also gain entry for this game free of charge by showing their pass at the gate.
Double-header tickets, for those without an Eagles Membership, can be purchased for £20 here.
By Dan Fowler, graphic by Alex Coleman