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Eagles Women continue winning streak


Halifax Panthers 12
Sheffield Eagles 46
OSCA Foundation Community Sports Hub, Halifax, Sunday 26th June, 2pm

On Sunday the Eagles travelled to Halifax to play the Panthers in their fifth match of the season. The game began with the Eagles kicking off to the Panthers, however the Eagles quickly gained possession of the ball and with strong carries from forwards Beth Arnold and Dawn Woodcock, they pushed towards the try line. Then, at only two minutes on the clock, Olivia Mulvey pushed her way through the Panther’s defence to run the final five metres and ground the ball over the try line - setting up Danie Green to successfully kick to add the extras.

Five minutes later, the Panthers had pushed their way into the Eagles’ 20, however Sheffield’s defence remained strong and forced an error resulting in a scrum to the Eagles. A well timed pass off the scrum from Phoebe Bramley to Lisa Parker saw Parker run the length of the pitch, weaving around the Panthers to ground the ball over the try line on the right wing - with the wide angle and windy conditions proving too difficult to convert.

The return kick from Halifax saw Sheffield lose the ball, and Halifax once again pushed them into their own half. A series of impressive defensive sets from the Eagles followed - strong tackles from Mulvey and Chris Scullion meant that the Panthers were unable to reach the try line and eventually the Eagles forced an error, resulting in another Eagles scrum in their own 20. A well-executed move off the scrum by Green and Scullion saw Thomas receive the ball on the left wing and sprint the length of the pitch with a lovely step of a defender to ground the ball under the sticks. Green was set up perfectly to convert and add the extras.

The following twenty minutes saw strong attacking and defensive sets from both sides, with powerful attacking drives from Pete Lendon and Charlotte Johnstone, as well as impressive one-on-one tackles from Parker and Nell Colclough. With just two minutes before the half time whistle, the Eagles had been holding the Panthers back in their own 20 for several minutes, but eventually the Panthers’ no. 11 managed to break through and score just to the left of the sticks.

Leaving the score at half time as 4 - 16 to the Eagles.

Coming back fighting just four minutes into the second half, the Panthers made the most of the kick-off, gaining possession and pushing their way towards the try line, eventually scoring on the right wing. The angle proved too wide to convert.

However, the Eagles didn’t allow the Panthers to get the second-half momentum. Quickly responding to the Halifax try with one of their own. Parker exposed a Panthers mistake, gathering a loose ball and sprinting 60m, only to be denied by the Halifax fullback. However, her quick play of the ball, set Fisher up perfectly to break the scattered defence and score under the sticks. This set Green up perfectly to add the extras.

Halifax refused to let this get their heads down. Responding just a few minutes later with a try following some strong drives off their forwards, with number 11 catching the Eagles’ defence off guard and getting their second try of the game. However, the 11 couldn’t convert to add the extras.

Halifax continued to use the physicality and power of their forwards to continue to make ground and credit has to go to Eagles centre, Scullion, for the tackle of the game. A perfectly timed ankle tap to flatten the Panther's prop forward. The consistent defensive pressure from the Eagles led to a Halifax knock-on, Green gathered the loose ball and ran half the pitch to score under the sticks. Green successfully converted her own try.

The momentum again went back in favour of the Eagles, with strong carries from the forwards, Arnold, Sayles and Lendon. Unfortunately, Lendon was stopped just short of the try line. The Eagles continued to pressure the Halifax defence, and now the backs took control of the game. Scullion drove into the Halifax defensive line, pulling in defenders and perfectly timing a pass out to Colclough, who offloaded to Fisher to score on the right wing. The angle proved too wide to convert.

With the game now entering the final minutes, and it was clear that the Eagles’ fitness and pace would catch the Halifax team out. Dummy half, Bramley, caught the Halifax defensive line napping, using a pick and go to weave around the defence and score just to the right of the sticks. Just four minutes later Parker yet again took advantage of a Halifax mistake to sprint 60 metres and pass out to Johnstone who continued the sprint to score.

The next kick-off and final set of the game truly exemplified a team try. Starting with a phenomenal catch and carry from Jenny Croft off of the Halifax kick. This led to a number of strong carries and skilful passes from the whole team. Ending in a beautiful drive from Colclough to score the final try of the game - which was successfully converted by Green. The Eagles truly dominated the last 10 minutes, scoring 3 tries and never stopping.

Final score: Halifax Panthers 12 - 46 Sheffield Eagles

Captain Pete Lendon commented:“This was always set to be a tough physical game, against a team which we are tied on in points in the table,"

"To come away with this win, a true team win, is just amazing and I’m so proud of the team.”

“Everything we have been working on in training we really brought to the pitch today, our physicality and the defensive line was much improved and we really just felt like a team unit. I’m excited to see how we continue to progress as the season continues.”

Players of the match

Manager's Player: Phoebe Bramley

Having just returned from injury, she had a sublime performance from dummy half and really controlled the game well.

Captain's Player: Jess Sayles

For an incredible work rate, week in and week out. Really brought the team through today with big hits and big carries.

Coaches Player: Tori Thomas

A huge asset to the team, making some great breaks, scoring a beautiful try and being dominant in tackles.

Halifax Panthers

Tries: 38, 44, 55
Goals: 0/3

Sheffield Eagles

1 Lisa Parker, 2 Kate Fletcher, 3 Claire Fisher, 4 Chris Scullion, 5 Tori Thomas, 6 Danie Green, 7 Charlotte Johnstone,17 Dawn Woodcock, 9 Phoebe Bramley, Jessica Sayles, 11 Olivia Mulvey, 12 Beth Arnold, 13 Pete Lendon (C), 8 Chloe Askew, 14 Molly Haglinton, 17 Jenny Croft, 18 Sophie Anderton, 22 Nell Colclough

Tries: Mulvey (2), Parker (7), Thomas (18), Fisher (51, 67), Green (59), Bramley (72), Johnstone (76), Colclough (79)
Goals: Green 5/9