Eagles progress to semi-final of 1895 Cup
Sheffield Eagles beat Whitehaven 40-6 at the Millennium Stadium, Featherstone, to set up a semi-final with Leigh Centurions in the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup.
Ben Jones-Bishop scored a hat-trick for the Red and Golds while full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae and scrum-half Anthony Thackeray both registered doubles.
The Eagles had a ten-point lead at half-time, despite outscoring the visitors four tries to one.
Thackeray got the scoring underway after five minutes as he got on the end of an Izaac Farrell chip before kicking on to the try-line, the half-back getting there before any defenders to touch down.
Izaac couldn’t convert as he’d go zero from four with the boot in the first half.
QLT scored his first of two tries with a customary jinking effort, following a break from Connor Bower earlier in the set.
The pressure kept coming on Whitehaven’s defensive line and the Eagles breached it once again on 18 minutes, in spectacular style. Jones-Bishop was fed down the wing by Kris Welham and the winger took to the air to score.
With five minutes remaining of the first half, QLT bagged his second of the day after spotting a gap and putting on a nice fend to get away from the Haven defence.
The last play of the half saw Whitehaven score their only points of the afternoon as Dion Aiye touched down a grubber from Geronimo Doyle. Connor Holliday converted.
Half-time - Sheffield Eagles 16-6 Whitehaven
Laulu-Togaga’e didn’t come back on for the second half as Mark Aston gave the experienced full-back some rest. Bass went from winger to the number one spot and the ex-York man got on the scoresheet with the opening try of the second half, finishing a swooping move from left to right. Izaac converted.
Welham and Jones-Bishop were in fine form for the Eagles and the centre sent his winger down the flank for him to beat Doyle. Izaac added the extras from in front of the sticks.
Welham got another assist to his name with 15 minutes to go as he streaked through the defence before passing to Thackeray who had the legs to get to the line. Once again, Izaac tagged on the two.
The final try of the game came straight from a scrum as Thackeray kicked on the first tackle, the onrushing Jones-Bishop was first to the ball to complete his hat-trick. Izaac converted to bring up 40-points for the hosts.
Full-time - Sheffield Eagles 40-6 Whitehaven
The Eagles now have a date with Leigh Centurions in the semi-final on Sunday 8th May at the Leigh Sports Village. Kickoff is at 4pm.
Next up for the Eagles is a league clash with London Broncos at the Eco-Power Stadium, Doncaster, on Saturday at 3pm.
By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman