Eagles show second half style to beat Broncos
Sheffield Eagles put on a vintage attacking second half performance as London Broncos were put to the sword 30-10 at the Eco-Power Stadium, Doncaster, on Saturday.
Leading 6-4 at half-time thanks to a Quentin Laulu-Togagae converted try, the full-back crossed the whitewash again in the second period but the star man was undoubtedly Anthony Thackeray.
The club captain scored a hat-trick in the second half, taking the game away from London in the process.
Mark Aston made two changes to the team that beat Whitehaven in the 1895 Cup. Joel Farrell and Will Wallis came in for recent departure Martyn Reilly and Liam Johnson.
London will have been wanting to get off to a strong start as they searched for their first league win of the year. However, a sin-binning for Brad Foster after four minutes put them on the back foot.
The numerical advantage was put to good use by the Eagles as they got on the scoresheet through QLT as Thackeray poked his head through a gap in the Broncos defence. Izaac Farrell added the extras.
London kept Sheffield to just one score in the first half and also managed to close the gap on the hosts. Ex-Eagle Dane Chisholm, who would play a pivotal role later in the match, kicked over the top of the defence for Sitiveni Moceidreke to touch down. Chisholm couldn’t convert but the capital club were certainly in the contest as the half came to a close.
Half-time - Sheffield Eagles 6-4 London Broncos
Early territory for the Broncos put Sheffield under pressure in the opening stages of the second half and Chisholm made amends for his missed conversion - kicking a penalty goal to level the scores.
However, the Eagles bounced back in emphatic fashion as they scored three tries in the space of eight minutes.
QLT completed his brace as a Bronco fumbled Thackeray’s grubber.
From playmaker to try-scorer, Thackeray took the game by the scruff of the neck, playing Mikey Wood through a gap and the prop forward passed on to QLT who then fed the captain for a marvellous try.
The scrum-half all but sealed the game with a fine read of a Chisholm pass. He may be getting old but he had the legs to run 70m to the Broncos try-line. Izaac kicked two conversions from three attempts for a 22-6 lead.
Similar to Chisholm earlier in the day, Izaac had the opportunity to kick a penalty goal and was successful from in front.
Thackeray’s hat-trick score was another brilliant team move. Ross Oakes fed Ben Jones-Bishop down the wing and the Jamaican international’s offload found the half-back who wouldn’t be caught. Izaac added the extras.
London got the ball back from the kickoff and had the final say on a poor afternoon for Jermaine Coleman’s men. Former Sheffield winger Iliess Macani connected with a Chisholm pass and managed to evade touch. Chisholm’s conversion attempt went wide.
Full-time - Sheffield Eagles 30-10 London Broncos
A good afternoon for the Red and Golds, whose ‘home’ game road trip continues next Friday as Newcastle Thunder visit the Millennium Stadium, Featherstone, for a 7:45pm kickoff.
By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman