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Match Preview - Dewsbury Rams (H)

04/09/2021

Sheffield Eagles will be aiming to return to winning ways after back-to-back league defeats when Mark Aston’s side hosts Dewsbury Rams on Sunday.

The Eagles last tasted victory against Oldham before consecutive losses against Batley and most recently London Broncos.

Sunday’s visitors Dewsbury will also be looking to improve their fortunes, with last weekend’s home loss to Newcastle making it just one win in eight for Lee Greenwood’s side.

The Rams sit 12th in the Betfred Championship table which is currently propped up by Swinton Lions and Oldham.

LAST TIME OUT

Sheffield suffered another heavy defeat in the Championship at the hands of the London Broncos.

After an improved first half, the Eagles were kept scoreless in the second half as the hosts ran in five unanswered tries to complete a comfortable 42-12 win.

London opened the scoring through Gideon Boafo after five minutes before Ryan Johnson’s converted try gave Sheffield a temporary lead.

Sheffield’s mistakes meant Boafo could add his second and third in quick succession before Blake Broadbent touched down Harry Tyson-Wilson’s grubber kick before the half-time hooter sounded.

The Eagles trailed by two points at the break but failed to break down the Broncos’ defence in the second forty, with regular half-back pairing Izaac Farrell and Anthony Thackeray still absent from action.

The full-time outfit showcased their expansive play in a one-sided half.

Former Eagles duo Jacob Ogden and Matty Fozard added tries before Josh Walters finished off a perfect 10 minute period for London.

London found more holes in the Eagles’ defence as Sheffield continued to chase the game in the final moments.

Chris Hankinson and Abbas Miski sealed the victory for London, both scoring converted tries.

Dewsbury were kept to one score in the first half of their contest with Newcastle Thunder last weekend, with Matty Fleming’s stunning 90-metre dash to the line the only celebratory moment of a comfortable Newcastle first forty.

Callum Turner’s converted try put Thunder into the lead and they didn’t look back as Jack Johnson added a first-half double.

Jake Shorrocks scored before his half-back partner Josh Woods added a one-pointer before the break.

Trailing 4-21, Dewsbury needed the first try of the second half but it was Newcastle and Johnson who got it, as the winger completed his hat-trick.

Jon Magrin crashed over for the Rams before Josh Woods converted his score 10 minutes later.

Ted Chapelhow was the next scorer for the visitors, which practically ended the game as a contest.

Paul Sykes and Tom Garratt scored late consolations for Dewsbury with just five minutes left on the clock.

KEY BATTLE

Eagles forward Joel Farrell returned to the Eagles squad last weekend and could be joined by brother Izaac in this weekend’s team to play Dewsbury.

The pair have been absent due to COVID isolation rules but will be aiming to end the season well with Sheffield.

Joel returned to face the Rams in Round 12 after he sustained an injury and will be up against a tough test on Sunday afternoon.

Dewsbury second-rower Michael Knowles will be well-known to Eagles supporters after his successful four-year stint at the club.

The now 34-year-old was a key component in the Sheffield machine which won back-to-back Championship Grand Finals before a competitive spell in the Super 8’s Qualifiers in 2015.

Knowles scored two of Dewsbury’s three tries in the last meeting between the sides in July’s 18-18 draw at the Tetley’s Stadium.