Sheffield Eagles Wheelchair Team play first home fixture
Sheffield Eagles hosted last year’s Championship Grand Final winners Warrington Wolves for their first home game and their second ever game as they build towards starting the competitive season later this year.
The Eagles put up a valiant performance but were defeated 16-54, however the scoreline will not have mattered too much to the squad who went up against a talented Warrington outfit.
With a full side to choose from and players absent through injury, illness or other commitments, coach Greg Brown rotated players to give everyone game time experience and to test themselves against one of the game’s more established clubs.
Solid defence kept the Wolves at bay for almost ten minutes before Irish international Toby Burton-Carter broke free to open Warrington’s account, which he converted himself.
It was Burton-Carter three minutes later as the Eagles side scrambled, but he failed to add the extras having been force to score out wide, before completing his hat-trick in the first quarter completing a flowing move which saw Warrington create an overlap, this time allowing him to also add the extras.
The Eagles showed promise and built pressure, forcing Warrington to drop-out twice and turning over twice on the Wolves’ line, with Lottie Davis-Browne making two stunning try-saving tackles on the right wing.
In the second quarter, Callum Young’s introduction for Warrington proved pivotal, scoring from the kick off and again ten minutes later, successfully converting the first but not the latter.
Young Eagles Chris Brown and Will Brooks showed their metal, not making a backward move against their older and more experienced opposition, but the Eagles could not breach the Wolves defence and going in at the break 0-26.
Debbie Odea pushed the Wolves further head shortly after the break with three consecutive tries, the first of which converted by Burton-Carter, rewarding her persistence on the right hand side of the field.
With a score looking less and less likely, Laijla Butler, who surely becomes the Eagles’ youngest ever try scorer at the age of 9, slipped through a gap of jumbled defence to get the Eagles off the mark with a try that proved popular with both sides.
Vicky Brooks’ conversion bounced cruelly off the crossbar, but the taste of success had set the Eagles soaring as Stacey Roulson’s pass to Mark Morgan gave him the time he need to ground the ball on the try line, with Morgan calmly slotting the conversion following.
Nash Jennings pushed the Wolves further head with two well worked tries in rapid succession, with Burton-Carter adding the extras for the first, before Callum Young glided through on the left wing to complete the Wolves scoring.
The Eagles were not done and camped on the Wolves line for the remainder of the game, desperately seeking a further consolation try, but had to be content with the 16-54 final score.
David Butler, Shaun Orton, Vicky Brooks, Lottie Davis-Browne, Stacey Roulson. Interchanges: Mark Morgan, Stephen Cambell, Jack Johnson, Will Brooks, April Brooks, Chris Brown, Laijla Butler
Tries: Laijla Butler (53), Matt Morgan (57), Jack Johnson (70)
Goals: Vicky Brooks 1/2, Matt Morgan 1/1.
Paul Southall, Paul Prince, Debbie Odea, Nash Jennings, Toby Burton-Carter. Interchanges: Callum Young.
Tries: Toby Burton-Carter (8, 11, 17), Callum Young (21, 31, 72), Debbie Odea (44, 49, 51), Nash Jennings (61, 63)
Goals: Toby Burton-Carter 4/9, Callum Young 1/2
Match Officials: Steve Abel & Grant Jackson