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Eagles Wheelchair make EIS debut


Sheffield Eagles 24 – 92 Wigan Warriors A
Saturday 25th March, 12.30pm
EIS Sheffield

Sheffield Eagles' second game of the Championship season saw a bruising encounter with Wigan Warriors A as the side made their debut at the English Institute of Sport venue.

The hosts went down 24-92 in an afternoon where both sides played the game in excellent spirit and a full effort from both sides spanned the 80 minutes.

Wigan started like a house on fire, with Nathan Roberts quickly racking up four tries, with Rob Greeson and Chris Greenhalgh crossing and Phil Roberts' goal-kicking putting them into a commanding position as the Eagles struggled to cope with the pace of the game.

The experience of the Wigan players was clear to see as they moved the ball about with a pace and energy that the Sheffield side had not faced previously.

Chris Haynes got the Eagles off the mark soon after entering the fray as the Eagles moved cleverly down the right hand side of the field, but David Butler’s conversion did not have the distance to go over the crossbar.

A purple patch of defence followed for the home side who kept the visitors at bay for a prolonged period, turning over the visitors several times and during which Haynes found his way to the try line for a second try which also went unconverted.

Greenhalgh, Greeson and Nathan Roberts added further tries before the break to move Wigan into a commanding 8-50 lead at the break.

In the first set after the break Will Brooks found him space for the Red and Golds and was deemed to have been fouled as he went into the corner, resulting in a penalty try being awarded, although he was unable to score the resulting conversion.

Wigan responded with some flowing right to left passing plays which saw Greenhalgh and Nathan Roberts add a further pair each as Greeson also completed his hat trick, as Irish international Phil Roberts steered the team about the park.

April Brooks shrugged off the defence to cross the line in the right corner, Butler added the extras to keep the Eagles scoreboard ticking over but not before Wigan had pushed themselves further ahead with two further quick-fire tries from Greenhalgh.

The Eagles thought they might have had the last word as Jack Johnson slipped through a confused Cherry & White pairing of Greenhalgh and Roberts to add the hosts' fifth try under the posts, an easy conversion for Butler, but it was the Warriors who completed the win with Stuart Ord securing his only try of the game which he also converted as the final whistle went.

The Eagles will now regather before their third game of the league sees them travel away to Mersey Storm on Saturday 1st April for a 1pm kick off. A close game between the two sides in the Wheelchair 4s competition at the start of the season suggests a mouth watering encounter is on the cards.

Sheffield Eagles

David Butler, Emma Pearson, Stephen Reilly, April Brooks, Jack Johnson. Interchanges: Chris Haynes, Ian Pride, Joe Wink-Simmonds, Stuart Wilkinson, Will Brooks

Tries: Chris Haynes (17, 26), Will Brooks (41), April Brooks (66), Jack Johnson (75)

Goals: David Butler 2/4, Will Brooks 0/1

Wigan Warriors A

Chris Greenhalgh, Nathan Roberts, Phil Roberts, Rob Greeson, Stuart Ord

Tries: Nathan Roberts (1, 8, 12, 14, 38, 61, 63), Rob Greeson (3, 30, 46), Chris Greenhalgh (5, 33, 44, 58, 71,73), Stuart Ord (78)

Goals: Phil Roberts 7/9, Greenhalgh (3/4), Gregson (0/1), N.Roberts (1/2), Ord (1/1)

Referees: Grant Jackson / Karli Wilkinson