Eagles battle with Warriors at Forge Valley
Sheffield Eagles 20
Wigan Warriors 62
Forge Valley Sports Centre, Saturday 9th April, 2pm
Sheffield Eagles welcomed Super League leaders Wigan Warriors to Forge Valley for a friendly game, with both clubs agreeing to field players from their club’s rosters yet to make a playing debut or for players who have had limited game time during the 2022 season.
This resulted in a very enjoyable experience for both sides and giving both clubs plenty to be pleased about in front of a growing crowd at Forge Valley.
The game ebbed and flowed throughout in both sides’ favour, with Wigan having the upper hand in the opening stanza as Nathan Roberts opening the scoring just two minutes in before Carl Locke added a brace and Shaun Gash helped himself to a hat trick. Roberts added a further try to put the Warriors 38 points ahead with 25 minutes on the clock.
But the momentum swung the way of the home side for the rest of the half, with the defensive steel of the Eagles coming alive and sustained pressure on the Warriors line allowed April Brooks to find space on the half hour mark to score on debut, with Chris Haynes on target with the conversion. It was Brooks again shortly before the end of the half who found space out wide to become the first Eagles Wheelchair player to score two tries in the same game.
It was a dream start to the second half for the Eagles as Jack Johnson’s game sense prevailed, honing in on a loose ball in the in-goal area to add a try to the scoreboard which was a very popular score with both sides. Unfortunately Emma Pearson’s conversion was just wide of the sticks.
Wigan clicked up a gear again with Roberts and Gash adding a further pair of tries each before the hour mark to take the Warriors to 62 points.
But the Eagles were soon back with their defensive mettle, keeping a clean sheet for the final quarter of the game with Stephen Scott’s try and conversion the last acts of the game.
“The score wasn’t the focus of today’s game,” commented Eagles Head Coach Greg Brown after the game.
“However, it was encouraging to see that we managed to score four well worked tries and encouragingly we kept a clean sheet for two 20 minute periods in the game.
“It was a fantastic opportunity for us to give some extra game time to players who have played this season and see a couple of players make their debuts who will not look out of place when we play our next competitive fixture.
“A good day all round and we’re very grateful to Wigan for giving us the chance to play.”
The Eagles take a break for the Easter weekend before facing Mersey Storm at home on Saturday 23rd April, 2pm Kick Off at Forge Valley Sports Centre.
Emma Pearson, Jenny Pearson, Lotte Davis-Brown, April Brooks, Jack Johnson. Interchanges: Will Brooks, Chris Haynes, Stephen Scott.
Tries: April Brooks (33, 36), Jack Johnson (43), Stephen Scott (79)
Goals: Chris Haynes 1/2, Emma Pearson 0/1, Stephen Scott 1/1
Reece Duddle, Carl Locke, Shaun Gash, Nathan Roberts, Ryan Gallagher. Interchanges: Heather Robinson, Will Mort, Wes Thomasson.
Tries: Nathan Roberts (2, 17, 46, 58), Carl Locke (5, 8), Shaun Gash (15, 19, 24, 55, 60)
Goals: Nathan Roberts 5/5, Carl Locke 2/3, Shaun Gash 2/3