Betfred Championship 2022 R20: Sheffield vs Workington Preview
Sheffield Eagles will be hoping to end a horrid run of form when the league’s bottom club make their first visit to the Olympic Legacy Park.
Workington Town are Sunday’s visitors, a home win would end a five match losing streak for Mark Aston’s side.
Last Time Out
The Eagles showed their quality in patches in their last performance but suffered a late, heartbreaking loss to play-off hopefuls Barrow Raiders.
Sheffield opened the scoring through Matty Chrimes and led 22-12 at the break with the Eagles’ scores coming from Ben Jones-Bishop, Cory Aston and Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e.
Joel Farrell extended the Eagles’ advantage before Jones-Bishop completed his double with a counter attack try.
The Sheffield score on the 60th minute proved to be their last and despite leading 32-12 it was Barrow who walked away with the all important two points.
Ryan Johnston, Ellis Gillam, Shane Toal and Tee Ritson’s tries were all converted with the latter coming seconds before the final hooter.
Sunday’s visitors Workington Town will be targeting only their second win of the Championship season, with their single victory against London Broncos in early June.
Town endured a painful 4-54 defeat to Sheffield in round five of the Championship season.
Workington head coach and former Eagles player Chris Thorman will be smelling blood as he returns to his own club, surely targeting this game as a must-win for the Cumbrians.
Thorman’s side have conceded the most points of any team in the second tier this season (773 in 19 games) and would’ve felt frustrated with Halifax Panthers the latest team to add to that total with a 58-10 victory over Town last time out.
Halifax led 22-6 at the break with Conor Fitzsimmons was the away sides only scorer.
The Panthers’ Joe Keyes added three second-half tries to add to his earlier score with Workington again kept to a single score in a half - Alex Clegg the scorer of a consolation effort in the final two minute.
Key Battle: Quentin Laulu-Togagae vs Oscar Thomas
This weekend’s key battle selection is between the two side's full-backs, Quentin Laulu Togaga’e and Oscar Thomas.
‘QLT’ made a try-scoring return to the Sheffield match day squad in last week’s defeat to Barrow, the former Samoan International on the end of some smart attacking play from fellow loanee Cory Aston in a score that gave the Eagles a 10-point half-time lead.
The Eagles legend made a mid-season loan return to the club and has still shown his class to score eight tries in 15 appearances, taking him to 172 tries in the red and gold.
His opposite number, Thomas returns to the OLP with strugglers Workington hoping to close the gap on Dewsbury and rivals Whitehaven who sit just above the relegation zone.
The Scotland international, who could also feature in the halves, made 18 appearances for the Eagles in 2018.
By Lewis Coleman, graphic by Alex Coleman