Peacock Cup Roundup
Wheelchair RL Peacock Cup
Sunday 21st May 2023
Sheffield Eagles Wheelchair Rugby League team’s performances in the 2023 Peacock Cup were a marked improvement on their 2022 showing. The day saw the Eagles play three 40-minute games over the course of the day, resulting in a famous first win over Rochdale Hornets at the fifth attempt!
Vs Torfaen Tigers 50-12 (Loss)
The Eagles opening match against Torfaen Tigers saw a largely competitive game for the first twenty minutes. Torfaen were quick off the mark to score, but Sheffield replied back 5 minutes in when Emma Pearson glided in on the wing after David Butler’s long ball found her in space on the left edge, although Butler failed to add the extras.
Torfaen racked up two further scores before Chris Haynes found himself racing away for an impressive distance try into the corner, Butler again unable to find his mark. A score from Torfaen came before Butler crashed through to ground the ball on the line, but again was unable to add the conversion. With the score at 12-20 it was all to play for, but as Sheffield rotated their squad, the Tigers kept their foot on the gas to reach a half century and secure a 50-12 win over the Eagles.
Eagles: Chris Haynes, David Butler, Emma Pearson, Jack Johnson, Lottie Davis-Browne. Interchanges: Shaun Orton, Ben Simpson, Jenny Pearson
Tries: Emma Pearson (4), Chris Haynes (13), David Butler (19)
Goals: David Butler 0/3
Vs North Wales Crusaders 26-12 (Loss)
The second match of the tournament was a much closer affair, albeit in a game of two halves, with Crusaders fielding Welsh internationals Lucie Roberts, Mason Baker, Stephen Halsey and Scott Trigg-Turner during the first half of the match, during which they racked up a 22-0 lead by the 11th minute. As players were rotated, Sheffield seemed to come alive and Ben Simpson found himself in receipt of a great ball in space to get the Eagles off the mark on the quarter of an hour mark, Butler missing the kick.
Butler was next to score, taking a short ball at the line to glide in to space to the right of the sticks to keep the Eagles in touch, but again was unable to convert. Minutes later Haynes raced away to add a further score for himself, with Butler still not on target with the kicks. A sustained period of sets between the two sides saw the game be contested very well, with the final word going to Crusaders who took the spoils.
Eagles: Chris Haynes, David Butler, Emma Pearson, Shaun Orton, Ben Simpson. Interchanges: Greg Brown, Lottie Davis-Browne, Jack Johnson, Jenny Pearson.
Tries: Ben Simpson (13), David Butler (22), Chris Haynes (24)
Goals: David Butler 0/3
Vs Rochdale Hornets 30-10 (Win)
The final game of the tournament saw Sheffield have the upper hand over the other English team in the tournament and recorded a well earned win over a side that has had the upper hand on them on their four previous meetings.
Jenny Pearson’s return to play saw her rewarded with a race away try in the first minute on the left edge, with Haynes unable to convert from the touchline. Shortly afterwards, Haynes was in for his first of three tries in the game, finishing a solid team effort which sadly he was unable to convert. Simpson added a further score, which went unconverted, before Jenny Pearson showed her speed again to stretch the lead further, Haynes this time converting.
Rochdale shuffled their squad and stepped up a gear, adding two scores of their own, before Eagles Head Coach Greg Brown did the same, himself putting in a sterling defensive effort, with two quickfire Haynes tries in the dying minutes, both converted by Butler who finally found his kicking gloves, to grind out an impressive victory.
Eagles: Chris Haynes, Emma Pearson, Jenny Pearson, Ben Simpson, Jack Johnson. Interchanges: Greg Brown, Shaun Orton, David Butler, Lottie Davis-Browne.
Tries: Jenny Pearson (1, 21), Chris Haynes (9, 36, 40), Ben Simpson (12).
Goals: Chris Haynes 1/4, David Butler 2/2
In the post tournament presentations, Chris Haynes and Jenny Pearson were nominated in the team of the tournament, both deserved nominations.