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Free-scoring Eagles take down Haven

20/03/2022

Sheffield Eagles continued their impressive scoring form with a similarly brilliant defensive display as they conquered Whitehaven 6-44 at the LEL Arena.

Debuts were given to Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e and Tom Holmes, the former scoring two tries and the latter kicking six goals as he was drafted into the action in the early stages due to an injury to Izaac Farrell. 

Matty Chrimes backed up his four-try performance against Crusaders with two more in Cumbria. 

Experienced trio Ben Jones-Bishop, Anthony Thackeray and Kris Welham all crossed the whitewash and Vice Captain Joel Farrell also added a four-pointer in the first half before having his afternoon cut short due to a red card, something Whitehaven forward Guy Graham also received earlier in the contest. 

The hosts went into the lead inside the first five minutes courtesy of an Alex Bishop penalty goal. Ryan King extended the advantage with what would be Haven’s only try of the contest. 

Laulu-Togaga’e made his mark with a customary jink and jive to the try-line as Sheffield got on the scoreboard after 14 minutes. He may have lost some pace but still ended up being two steps ahead of the opposition. Holmes, who had come on for Izaac, converted to level the scores.

Just five minutes later, Graham was sent off for dumping Joel on his head with a tip tackle. If that didn’t upset the Haven crowd, Joel scoring on the next set certainly did! The back-rower was too strong from close range and Holmes was able to add the extras. 

Jones-Bishop was next over the whitewash for the Red and Golds, on the stroke of half-time, with an acrobatic effort. Holmes’ conversion attempt strayed wide but the Eagles will have been happy enough with a two-score lead heading into the break. 

Half-time - Whitehaven 6-16 Sheffield Eagles

In the opening couple of sets of the second half for the Eagles, they had got into the Haven half before furthering their lead through Welham. From a scrum play, QLT took the ball to the line before hitting the onrushing centre who touched down. Holmes’ effort from the tee went wide. 

Two tries in consecutive sets all but sealed the win for Sheffield with 20 minutes to go. QLT was at the heart of both, setting up Chrimes with a deft offload in the tackle before finishing a move which saw Joel cut through the Haven defence. Holmes converted both attempts. 

Despite a red card for Joel on 65 minutes following an incident in the tackle, the Eagles defence held firm as Jonty Gorley’s men tried to get into double figures. 

Sheffield finished with a flourish; Thackeray notched his customary effort with a run to the line and a step past the full-back, Chrimes ending the game with his second score as he intercepted a Haven pass. Holmes was again successful with the two goals, capping off a great debut for himself. 

Full-time - Whitehaven 6-44 Sheffield Eagles

A big week ahead for the Eagles as they prepare for their Challenge Cup sixth round clash against Hull FC at Featherstone Rovers’ Millennium Stadium. 

Tickets are available here and priced as follows; 

Adults - £18 (£20 on match day)

Concessions - £12 (£15 on match day)

Juniors - £5