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Eagles batter Bulldogs


Sheffield Eagles put on a rugby league clinic at the Olympic Legacy Park on Friday evening, beating Batley Bulldogs 36-0.

If Director of Rugby Mark Aston was wanting a big performance for the first home game of the season, he got just that.

12-0 up at half-time, the game was still up for grabs for either side but four tries in 20 minutes put paid to any Batley effort.

Amongst the first half try-scorers was Anthony Thackeray. A brilliant moment for the scrum-half, whose four points took him to 1,001 for his career. Cory Aston, who set the captain up with a fine inside ball, started his 100% night from the boot with an effort that almost drifted wide.

On 11 minutes, Vila Halafihi sniped his way over from close range. The hooker with a stereotypical dummy-half effort!

There were 45 minutes between Halafihi’s try and Jesse Sene-Lefao’s effort just shy of the hour mark. The former Featherstone and Castleford man backed up his eye-catching Barrow performance with another on his home debit, capping it off with a swivelling score.

Sheffield have been known for a few scrum plays and they added another to their collection. Aston taking on the line, Ross Oakes running a superb line to breach the Bulldogs defence to go over.

Aston’s men were firing on all cylinders at 24-0 up and things got better when Ben Jones-Bishop added his name to the scoresheet. A move to the right flank saw BJB cut inside and step past the Bulldogs defence.

The final try of the evening went the way of Aaron Murphy. The strong-running forward got past one would-be tackler and there wasn’t going to be any other outcome after that.

A magnificent effort from the Eagles, who keep an opponent to zero for the first time since… we’ll get back to you.

By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman