Kingstone Press Championship Round 16 Review – Batley Bulldogs 12-40 Sheffield Eagles

This fixture kicked off round 16 of the Championship, and at half-time there may have been a little shock for people keeping track of the score via social media. Batley were 12-10 up after dominating the first period of play against a Sheffield side who couldn’t quite get going up until the final ten minutes. Lee Mitchell and Shaun Ainscough had both crossed the chalk for Batley during the first half, with only one of those tries being converted. Scott Leatherbarrow made amends for the one he missed with a penalty goal to extend Batley’s lead to two scores. A Menzie Yere double-salvo reduced the arrears significantly going into the break. Instead of a 12 point lead, Batley only had a slender two point advantage and their counterparts were attacking down the infamous Fox’s Biscuits Stadium slope in the second 40. From the first set, Shaun Ainscough was tackled into his own in-goal area which really sent out a statement of intent. From the forthcoming two sets for Sheffield, who put on a lot of pressure, Sam Smeaton scored after being fed perfectly by Quentin Laulu-Togagae. A 40/20 in the restart set by Kyle Briggs enhanced the Eagles’ early second half dominance, and the following set saw former Batley man John Davies was the lucky beneficiary of an overlap. Menzie Yere completed his hat-trick after latching on to a Kyle Briggs cut-out ball before full-back Laulu-Togagae joined in the scoring with 15 minutes remaining. The final try of proceedings went to Misi Taulapapa who had the easiest of scores following a Keal Carlile pass. A good day at the office for Sheffield.

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