Two Kingstone Press Championship stalwarts go head to head at the SHU Sports Park on Friday night when Sheffield Eagles take on Dewsbury Rams. The Rams got the better of Sheffield in their first Championship meeting so Mark Aston’s men will be looking for revenge. Both sides currently sit in mid table so whoever wins this clash will be confident of a rise up the ladder.
Last Time Out
Sheffield were on the end of a big beating from London Broncos as Andrew Henderson’s side took home the spoils with a 56-24 victory. The first three tries of the game went to the Broncos, who performed exceptionally throughout the evening. Willam Barthau scored his first of three tries in the opening stages before Wes Naiqama and Rhys Williams also notched a four pointer each. Ben Blackmore responded for the hosts as Mark Aston’s men got on the scoresheet but they were soon pegged back by ex-Eagle Matt Garside, who crossed the whitewash for the capital side. Sheffield looked to be finishing the half as the stronger side due to the fact Menzie Yere and Rob Worrincy both touched down but Barthau added his second try of the evening with near enough the final play of the half. This came as a hammer blow to Sheffield, who went into half-time 26-12 down. After the restart, Barthau completed his hat-trick on 43 minutes before Williams doubled his try tally for the game. The game was pretty much over as a contest but the Broncos kept pumping up the pressure and they got their just desserts in the shape of three more tries courtesy of Andy Ackers, Garside and Alex Foster. Sheffield were completely blown away but they posted two consolation tries through Cory Aston and Mark Mexico to conclude proceedings.
Dewsbury tested Halifax to the limit last Sunday at The Shay but the Rams were just edged out by Richard Marshall’s men. A 23-14 defeat will have left Glenn Morrison’s side licking their wounds ahead of their next challenge which comes against Sheffield. Halifax’s Gareth Moore and Dewsbury’s Dalton Grant exchanged scores in the first few minutes of the round 11 contest before James Glover kicked a penalty goal to put the Rams two points ahead. The lead lasted until the last minute of the first half when Gareth Potts crossed the chalk for Fax. A successful conversion from Tyrer extended the lead to four points and things got better after the interval for last year’s success story in the second tier. Adam Tangata notched a try on 45 minutes to double his side’s advantage and, after Tyrer’s conversion was swiftly backed up by a penalty goal, there was a 12 point difference between the two teams. Etu Uaisele kept Dewsbury’s hopes up with a try as the final quarter approached but Halifax defended valiantly and that was enough to seal the win. Tyrer’s second penalty goal of the afternoon, as well as a Scott Murrell one pointer, rubbed a bit more salt into the wound of Dewsbury.
Etu Uaisele had a successful loan spell at Sheffield in 2014 but since then he has not been able to force his way into the first team of Bradford and now he finds himself on loan at Dewsbury. The Tongan international will be looking forward to going up against his former loan club on Friday while fellow Dewsbury three-quarter Dalton Grant, who also scored against Halifax, comes into the game with good form. Despite the heavy defeat, Rob Worrincy and Menzie Yere both got on the scoresheet for Sheffield last weekend if the steel city side are to get a victory in this game the duo will need to perform to a high standard.
Both sides could do with a victory in this one so whether or not a bit of desperation play comes into it remains to be seen. Sheffield will be desperately disappointed with the start they’ve made to the Championship campaign but there’s still time to make amends and that can all begin against Dewsbury. Meanwhile, the Rams also need a victory to keep up their push for the top four but will they get it against a stuttering Sheffield side? – Sheffield by 14