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Match Preview - Batley Bulldogs (H)

06/05/2021

After recording their first draw of the season, Sheffield Eagles will be aiming to get back to winning ways when Batley Bulldogs visit the Keepmoat Stadium on Friday night.

The Eagles conceded a late penalty goal as they shared the spoils with London Broncos, 20-20.

Batley continued their fine start to their Championship season with a win over Newcastle Thunder.

LAST TIME OUT

The Eagles earned a draw in an entertaining game of Championship rugby league.

The scores couldn’t be settled, with Jarrod Sammut’s late penalty goal cutting the Eagles’ lead following an Aaron Brown score.

Mark Aston’s side were ahead at the break, with first-half tries coming from James Glover and Izaac Farrell. Tuoyo Egodo and Abbas Miski notched for the visitors.

London took a slender lead after the break when Miski scored his second, Hankinson converted for a two-point lead which was cancelled out by Izaac Farrell’s penalty goal three minutes later.

The Eagles responded late on after Miski collected his hat-trick, with Brown’s effort coming a minute from the final hooter but it didn’t prove to be the last act.

A penalty was awarded to the visitors following a scuffle on the deck and Sammut obliged from the tee.

Batley Bulldogs won their third consecutive Championship match, beating Newcastle Thunder 16-28 at Kingston Park

Elliot Hall and Dale Morton scored first-half tries for Batley who led 6-10 half-time.

Two tries from Alistair Leak after the restart extended the Bulldogs’ lead before the hosts attempted to mount a comeback.

Kieran Gill scored his second of the game before Jake Shorrocks’ converted score applied late pressure.

Tom Gilmour pounced on an error from Newcastle full-back Alex Donaghy to put the Batley victory beyond any doubt three minutes from time.

KEY BATTLE

Anthony Thackeray and Izaac Farrell have been Sheffield’s halves combination in every game so far this season, striking a partnership that has produced six tries between the pair in the Eagles’ opening four Championship matches.

The two have developed well under Aston’s leadership since Farrell’s arrival to the club in the cancelled season of 2020.

They will have to be at their best on Friday night.

Batley have used Tom Gilmour and Ben White in their playmaking berths this term.

The new partnership has been fruitful for the Bulldogs, with Gilmour arriving this pre-season and White in 2020.

Widnes-born Gilmour represented his hometown club for seven years, six of those in Super League before joining Batley.

His partner in crime, White, joined the Bulldogs after spending time with Swinton Lions, Halifax Panthers and Barrow Raiders.

The pair have struck five tries together in the early stages of the season.

Gilmour also adds a threat from the boot, after scoring a hatful of points from the tee when he has been selected as the Bulldogs goal-kicker instead of Dale Morton.

HOW TO WATCH

The game will be live-streamed on Our League, with the broadcast starting at 7:30pm. 

You can purchase the live-stream for £4.95 from rugby-league.com/livestream up until midnight tonight. 

The price rises to £10 on game day. 

Minute-by-minute updates can be found on the Eagles' Twitter feed (@SheffieldEagles). 

By Lewis Coleman, photo by Alex Coleman