Eagles triumph in battle against Wigan
Sheffield Eagles 38
Wigan St Patricks 26
Olympic Legacy Park, Sheffield, Sunday 7th August, 12.30pm
The Eagles Women survived a scare against Wigan, as their domination in the final fifteen minutes saw them secure their victory in an otherwise evenly matched battle.
The game began with the Eagles receiving the kick from Wigan, making strong drives up the pitch with scrum half, Palmer, drawing in defenders to pass through hands out wide. Scullion then dodged Wigan’s fullback to sprint fifty metres and ground the ball to the left of the sticks - setting up Haglington to kick and add the extras.
Wigan swiftly replied with a strong attacking set to push into the Eagles’ half, they showed their experience by regathering on the fifth, allowing for a second attacking set where their power proved too much for the Eagles - scoring on the right wing.
Not to lose their momentum, the Eagles pressured Wigan’s attack and forced an error. At dummy half, Wood saw her chance and took it - dummying to break the defensive line and charging forty metres towards the try line, to ground the ball under the sticks. Haglington was set up perfectly to kick for the extras.
Minutes later, an Eagles knock on in their own 20 gave Wigan the perfect opportunity to score off their scrum, with their no 18 converting to add the extras. Despite impressive defensive work from Thomas, Scullion and Tiffin, further errors from the Eagles allowed Wigan to stay in their half and eventually push through once more to score under the sticks.
With just minutes left in the first half, Evans made an amazing break for the Eagles, but was denied just metres from the line. Identifying space, Palmer shipped the ball out right to Scullion who stepped Wigan’s winger to ground the ball over the line. Unfortunately, the angle proved too wide to convert.
With Wigan’s strength and size proving an even match for the Eagles’ speed and agility - it was still all to play for, beginning the second half with an even 16 - 16 on the scoreboard.
Back on the pitch after an injury in the first half, Eagles Captain Lendon was determined to make an impact. With a goal line drop out from Wigan, they took their chance - catching the ball on the bounce and powering through the Wigan defence to charge thirty metres and ground the ball under the sticks.
Errors from the Eagles once again gave Wigan the opportunity to place sustained pressure on the Eagles defensive line - eventually breaking through and scoring under the sticks.
The following attacking set from Wigan saw them denied by the Eagles - with impressive one on one tackles from Teas and Scullion. Upon winning back possession, Evans made a spectacular break at halfway, brushing off several defenders then stepping the fullback to sprint over the line. Green kicked to add the extras.
Wigan replied by once again powering through the Eagles defence, close to the line to score on the left of the sticks. Their no 18 successfully converted, levelling the scores at 26 - 26.
Re-focussed and determined to maintain their winning streak, the final fifteen minutes saw the Eagles truly dominate Wigan. Through their relentless defence, the Eagles were able to deny Wigan any progress - turning the ball over. Scoring a brace for the Eagles, Wood caught Wigan’s defence napping at halfway and broke through to sprint towards the line - grounding the ball under the sticks, where Green added the extras.
Demonstrating their superior fitness, the Eagle kept on battling until the end and were able to extend their lead even further. With just one minute left on the clock, powerhouse Lendon charged through the now tiring defence, with passes out wide Green dived over the line to ground the ball. She then successfully converted her own try - securing a comfortable 12 point lead for the Eagles at full time.
Players of the Match
Chairman’s Player of the Match - Agnes Wood
For having a great impact at dummy half controlling the speed of the game and scoring two great tries.
Captain Pete’s Player - Phoebe Evans
For making a huge impact in her first game for the Eagles, and scoring an incredible try. Welcome to the team!
Manager Hannah’s Player - Chris Scullion
For moving around into different positions multiple times today, making some massive tackles and scoring their first and second try for the team.
Head Coach Liam’s Player 1 - Helen Teas
For having an outstanding defensive game, playing out of position for the entire match and being the consistency that we needed to secure the win.
Head Coach Liam’s Player 2 - Jess Sayles
For her never ending work rate in defence that saved the team on many occasions.
Assistant Coach Dan’s Player - Beth Arnold
For working hard and making some strong runs in attack.
Tries: Chris Scullion (3, 37), Agnes Wood (14, 77), Pete Lendon (44), Phoebe Evans (58), Danie Green (79)
Goals: Molly Haglington 2/2,Danie Green 3/5
1 Ellie Tiffin, 2 Tori Thomas, 3 Chris Scullion , 4 Claire Fisher , 5 Molly Haglington, 6 Danie Green, 7 Sarah Palmer (VC), 10 Jessica Sayles, 9 Agnes Wood, 25 Nell Colclough, 11 Simone Saunders , 12 Beth Arnold, 13 Pete Lendon (C), 17 Jenny Crofts, 14 Helen Teas, 18 Isobel Stevens , 19 Aiden Cottrell-Callbeck , 20 Sophie Anderton, 21 Phoebe Evans
Wigan St Patricks
Tries: No 17 (9, 17), No 18 (29, 64), No 5 (53),
Conversions: No 18 3/5
By Chris Scullion, photo by Alex Coleman