Sheffield Eagles 56 Whitehaven 18: Aston urges Eagles to improve opening plays

Sheffield Eagles gained revenge for one of their rare defeats this season as they ran in 10 tries against Whitehaven.

The win keeps Sheffield top of the Championship and extends their winning run to 11 games in all competitions.

Whitehaven were the last team to beat Sheffield – on April 1 – but it was the Eagles who were smiling as after a slow start they powered ahead with five tries in the final 22 minutes of the first half.

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Full-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae scored his second hat-trick of tries in successive games, with Menzie Yere taking his total for the season to 25.

The game kicked off 15 minutes late after Haven’s coach was delayed and they took time to get into gear.

Eagles opened the scoring on nine minutes with Laulu-Togagae coming into the line to sweep in and score. Dominic Brambani kicked the goal.

Haven came back with a try from Carl Southernwood in near the posts with the half-back adding the two.

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Eagles’ reply was three tries in six minutes from Yere, winger Scott Turner and a second for Laulu-Togagae. Brambani and Peter Green, on his 350th professional appearance, added tries before the break. With Brambani goals Eagles led 34-6.

Yere and Laulu-Togagae pushed out the lead after the restart before Haven hit back with tries from Dave Houghton and Southernwood who added the goals. Tries from Patch Waker and Tom Armstrong plus Brambani bringing his goals total to eight put Eagles past the 50-point mark.

With a Northern Rail Cup quarter-final against Dewsbury on Friday, Eagles coach Mark Aston said: “We need to make sure we start a bit better than we did (yesterday) and people have to understand good defence is the key to us going forward.”

Sheffield Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Armstrong, Taulapapa; Walker, Brambani; Gledhill, Henderson, Stringer, Knowles, Straugheir, Hirst. Substitutes: Davey, Higgins, Green, Garside.

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Whitehaven: Greenwood; Ackerley, McAvoy, Parker, Cameron; Southernwood; Paterson, Jackson, Newton, Houghton, Crellin, Barker, Palmer. Substitutes: Thorman, Clarke, Cullnean, Forster.

Referee: D Merrick (RFL).