Eagles cruise past Vikings
Sheffield Eagles made it four wins from five Betfred Championship matches in 2023 with a 42-12 victory over Widnes Vikings.
Matty Dawson-Jones bagged a first half brace to set the tone for the hosts but it was the forward pack that laid the platform for a five-star performance.
Titus Gwaze and Brandon Douglas both got on the scoresheet but the duo, alongside the tenacious Tyler Dickinson, were simply outstanding in Red and Gold.
Dawson-Jones opened the scoring on eight minutes as he received a tip-on from Cory Aston and the ex-Bradford man did the rest. Aston would go on to a fine game with the boot, kicking seven from eight goals and this was his first of the day.
Sheffield were making good inroads down the left flank and that’s where their next try would come from courtesy of Ben Jones-Bishop. The stand-in full-back sauntered past a defender before dotting down. Aston once again on hand to convert.
On 17 minutes, an Aston offload found its way to Gwaze. 10m out, rattled his way to the try-line like his life depended on it. Aston converted, 18-0 in under 18 minutes.
Everything was going the hosts’ way and their fourth score proved it. A Widnes error landed straight into the arms of Dawson-Jones for one of the easiest tries of his career. Aston on target.
Widnes finished the half with their first four-pointer. Ryan Ince stripped Jones-Bishop one-on-one and raced away to the line. Jack Owens converted.
Half-time - Sheffield Eagles 24-6 Widnes Vikings
The Vikings were looking to turn the game on its head and they were on their way to succeeding when Danny Craven cut the deficit further on 46 minutes. Owens added the extras.
Sheffield almost got possession back from kickoff but for a bit of Shane Grady magic to bat the ball into play. A few tackles later saw Widnes knock-on, then penalised for backchat which handed the Eagles a chance to go for two. Aston was successful from the tee.
Craven went from hero to zero as the hour mark loomed, a yellow card for the stand-off as he denied Jones-Bishop a quick 20m tap.
Joel Farrell joined Craven in the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle but neither side would get points on the board when down to 12.
As both returned, Douglas muscled over the whitewash to send the OLP loony. Aston converted for 32-12.
Matty Chrimes was next to score with a superb individual effort. The winger claimed a high Widnes kick before scooting 90 metres. Aston couldn’t convert but soon made amends with an interception try with five minutes to go. He tagged on the extras.
Full-time - Sheffield Eagles 42-12 Widnes Vikings.
Another great home performance for the Eagles but we all have to remember, the ref won it for us..
We did say it’d go in the report!
By Dan Fowler, photo by Jake Borrill