Peacock Cup Wheelchair Rugby League Review
Sheffield Eagles Wheelchair Rugby League team returned to Wrexham on Sunday 22nd May took take part in the Peacock Cup – an annual charity event which raises money for the Hope House Children’s Hospices.
The round-robin tournament, featuring hosts North Wales Crusaders, Rochdale Hornets and Torfaen Tigers, took place at the Glyndwr University with games lasting for 30 minutes and the top two sides contesting a 20 minutes each way final.
Chris Brown was named player of the match in two of the Eagles games, with Emma Pearson picking up the accolade in the third game and both players were rewarded by being named in the team of the tournament.
Sheffield Eagles 0 Rochdale Hornets 14
In the opening game of the tournament, Sheffield produced one of their best performances of the season with steely defence and some structured attacking plays, keeping a clean sheet for the opening nine minutes of the match before two back to back tries from Rochdale, one a well worked move and the second a missed-tag in centre field.
But the Eagles pressed, showing tremendous effort and scrambling defence, with David Butler and Emma Pearson making some big hits to supress Rochdale’s fire power.
Chris Brown’s debut was solid but was denied a couple of breaks on the right side as he found touch, and despite a further try for Rochdale towards the end of the game, the Eagles were delighted to have played to a intensity perhaps not yet seen this season.
Eagles: David Butler, Emma Pearson, Jack Johnson, Lottie Davis-Browne, Shaun Orton. Interchange: Chris Brown.
Sheffield Eagles 4 Torfaen Tigers 14
Having lost Lottie Davis-Browne to a suspected wrist fracture, the Eagles head coach Greg Brown completed a last minute registration to give him an interchange option if required, although elected not to play himself as the starting five Eagles turned in another solid defensive effort against Championship South side Torfaen Tigers.
Another physical and expansive game followed, with the Eagles defences being constantly tested, but seldom breached as an organised Torfaen side tried to wear them down, Jack Johnson’s defensive effort in the middle of the park being superb and Shaun Orton’s last ditch efforts being noteworthy.
Chris Brown, slipped a nice offload from Shaun Orton, scored a well-received try in the right corner, but Shaun Orton was unable to add the extras, pushing the kick wide, giving the Eagles a huge shot in their arm going into the final game.
Eagles: Chris Brown, David Butler, Emma Pearson, Jack Johnson, Shaun Orton. Interchange: Greg Brown (Not Used)
Try: Chris Brown
Goal: Shaun Orton 0/1
Sheffield Eagles 4 North Wales Crusaders 24
The final game of the day saw the Eagles take on North Wales Crusaders, with a side made up pretty much of the team which beat Sheffield 74-6 over 80 minutes in the championship.
The Eagles employed the tactic of turning their opponents around with some clever tactical kicking and forcing repeated sets, which proved to be a rewarding strategy when good field position allowed Greg Brown, who this time did use himself as an interchange, popped a ball up to Emma Pearson who found space to crash over the line.
David Butler couldn’t improve the score with the conversion attempt.
Eagles: Chris Brown, David Butler, Emma Pearson, Jack Johnson, Shaun Orton. Interchange: Greg Brown
Try: Emma Pearson
Goal: David Butler 0/1
Wheelchair Rugby League training continues on Monday nights at the Pearson Building, Sheffield Hallam University, 6.30pm to 8.00pm. The Eagles are now awaiting to find out how the second phase of the season will look and hope to resume playing in June.