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Eagles Women claim League 1 glory


Sheffield Eagles Women will be a Championship team in 2023 after a hard-fought 26-6 victory over Illingworth at Odsal.

Doubles from Phoebe Evans and Capucine Auger, alongside an Agnes Wood effort, were enough to cap off a fantastic debut season for the Women.

It took two minutes for the first try of the game as Sheffield flew out of the blocks and caught Illingworth unawares.

On the back of Illingworth kicking out on the full, Wood capitalised on the territory as she burrowed under the defence to dot down. Danie Green converted for a very early 6-0 lead.

The strong Eagles support in the crowd didn’t have to wait too long for the second and third four-pointer. Initially, a knock-on from the opposition gifted Sheffield a massive opportunity that they weren’t going to spurn.

Running back on an angle, Auger juggled the ball before slamming it down on the Odsal turf. Green added the extras.

The prop forward was hungry for more and she soon spun out of an attempted tackle to score underneath the sticks. The Eagles players were in dreamland at 18-0 up after just ten minutes, Green with her third conversion of the afternoon.

Illingworth were shellshocked and couldn’t seem to stop the bleeding as the Eagles kept knocking on the door. But rather than a knock, they’d taken the door completely off the hinges.

A break from Wood gave Liam Browne’s side another big chance. Clinical would be the best word to describe the first quarter of action as Evans bundled over from close range. Green couldn’t convert but at this point - 22-0 up and still in the opening stages - it wasn’t the end of the world.

Something must have kicked Illingworth into gear as the rest of the half was well-matched and the Halifax-based side had the most of the possession and territory.

As solid in defence as they were menacing in attack, every Eagles tackle was being celebrated like a try.

Sheffield kept Illingworth pointless going into half-time, a massive win in itself as they started to grow in confidence despite the deficit.

With the possession and territory Illingworth enjoyed in the latter stages of the first half, it didn’t come as too much of a surprise when they got on the board after 48 minutes.

A bit of error tennis occurred soon after, but in the Eagles half, with Illingworth sensing a chance to get back into the contest.

Although breached once, the Eagles rearguard stayed firm and it’d have taken a monumental effort to take this game away from them.

Evans completed her brace with five minutes to go, aided by a superb offload from Green to create the space. Green couldn’t convert.

For a team that had only been created and brought together months earlier - a League 1 promotion had been signed, sealed and delivered.

Want to see them in action this Sunday? Tickets for their friendly with Hull FC at OLP (12:30pm) available here - this is the only way to gain entry, there will be no pay-on-the-day option available.

A Season Membership, available here, will get you entry into all Eagles Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair home league games! Free for U16s!