Town toppled by sublime Sheffield
Sheffield Eagles put on a professional 80-minute performance in Cumbria as they hammered Workington Town 4-54 at Derwent Park.
The first half saw the Eagles go 30 points to the good, putting the game beyond doubt with 40 minutes left to go.
Workington did get on the scoresheet, and threatened the Eagles’ try-line on more occasions, after the restart but the damage had been done.
Sheffield added four scores in the second period to bring up a half-century, helped by Izaac Farrell’s perfect day from the boot with nine conversions from as many attempts.
Following the victory over Hunslet Club Parkside, Liam Kirk, Evan Hodgson and Josh Guzdek all missed the - the forwards due to sickness and the full-back with a shoulder injury.
Jason Bass moved to the full-back position as Matty Chrimes made his first league appearance of the season. Bayley Liu and Connor Bower also made their first showings of the 2022 Championship campaign, both coming off the bench.
The Eagles’ first set of the contest certainly showed their desire, rolling Town downfield with a number of big carries followed by a penalty.
With great territory on their side, Sheffield made the most of it - Bass was held up before Joel Farrell broke the deadlock from close range. Izaac got his first of nine conversions.
Workington had a ten-minute spell where they forced a goal-line dropout and a few last ditch challenges from the Eagles. However, they came away with nothing to show for their efforts.
Sheffield certainly got confidence from their defensive stand and that showed in a glorious final 20 minutes of the half.
Despite being denied earlier in the half, that didn’t deter Bass who had a second bite of the cherry on the opposite flank and crossed the whitewash with a number of Town defenders nearby. Izaac pinged the ball between the sticks for a 0-12 lead.
Anthony Thackeray, whose absence was evident in last week’s win over Hunslet Club Parkside, notched a try on his return with a customary dummy close to the defensive line.
Ross Oakes was next over the try-line on 31 minutes, the centre muscling his way to four points after the ball was spread to the left side.
The final try of the half was arguably the best of the afternoon. Thackeray and Izaac combining, with a kick over the top by the former which was successfully chased by the latter.
Half-time - Workington Town 0-30 Sheffield Eagles
Sheffield started the second half where they left off in the first, with another try to add to the collection.
Ben Jones-Bishop kept low to the ground and managed to dot the ball down in the corner. Izaac’s conversion from the touchline was straight through the middle as his magnificent afternoon with the boot continued.
Curtis Teare responded with Workington’s only try of the afternoon, the winger jinking his way past a defender before crossing. Ex-Eagle Oscar Thomas couldn’t convert from the corner.
Three tries in the final 15 minutes rounded off an afternoon to remember for the Eagles.
Mikey Wood, who went agonisingly close to a try at Barrow in round one, made amends with four points just up the road at Derwent Park.
A Thackeray interception was supported by winger Chrimes, who connected with the pass and evaded the Workington chasers.
The last score of the day came from some inventive work - a kick from a scrum was chased successfully by Jones-Bishop, who was tackled. A couple of tackles later, hooker Vila Halafihi made his way over the line to put Sheffield past the 50-point mark.
Full-time - Workington Town 4-54 Sheffield Eagles
With the Eagles now on two wins from four games in the Betfred Championship, their focus turns back to the Challenge Cup next weekend when they face North Wales Crusaders in Colwyn Bay.
By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman