Doncaster RLFC 4-26 Sheffield Eagles
Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
Dons XIII: Scott, Doherty, Welham, Waterman, Sanderson, Nicklas, Wilkinson, Carbutt, Kesik, Tyson-Wilson DR, Turgut L, Snitch, Emmett. Interchange: Waller, Clark, Foster, Kelly.
Eagles XIII: QLT, Worrincy, Yere, Smeaton, Taulapapa; Briggs, Aston; Battye, Davey, Thorpe; Knowles, Langley, Davies. Interchange: Stringer, Walker, Carlile, Roberts.
Doncaster gave Sheffield a scare but it was the Eagles who took the spoils in the South Yorkshire derby at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Dons player coach Paul Cooke dropped himself for the clash, welcoming back Danny Nicklas into the starting line-up for the first time in over a year.
Lee Waterman and Richard Wilkinson both made returns to the squad, whilst Stewart Sanderson made his 100th Dons appearance.
The Dons had a great chance inside the opening 10 minutes, Nicklas grubbered through superbly, with his neat kick hitting the left post he aimed for, however no Dons player could reach the ball and Quentin Laulu Togagae tidied up the danger with a surging run.
Both teams continued to have chances, but it was Sheffield who drew first blood. Sanderson did really well to deny the impressive Laulu-Togagae with a try saving tackle, but the Eagles continued to rally and Jamie Langley was put through by a great pass from Kyle Briggs, who converted the try.
The Eagles extended their lead in the 27th minute, after getting into the Dons twenty from a penalty, another fine pass from Briggs sent Misi Taulapapa over in the corner with a fantastic diving finish to give the visitors a 10-0 advantage.
Doncaster looked to hit back before half time after Sheffield knocked on in their own half. The Dons then won a penalty 10 metres out, due to holding down, but Cooke's side failed to take advantage, knocking on in the second tackle.
That miss was punished when just before the break, Sheffield added another try, after winning the penalty from a Dons obstruction, the Eagles chose to take the tap and were rewarded from doing so later in the set when Mitch Stringer bundled his way over the try line, with Pat Walker adding the extra two points.
Half Time: Doncaster 0-16 Sheffield Eagles
Doncaster really came out of the blocks in the second half and the returning Wilkinson made a super break less than two minutes into the half, however his search for the try line ended in the scrum half being dragged into touch.
The Dons did get themselves back into the match though in the 52nd minute, Sam Doherty met Nicklas' grubber to the corner, to slide over for his fourth try of the season.
However Doncaster's hopes of a comeback took a blow less than 10 minutes later as Nicklas was sent to the sin bin for dissent.
Being reduced to 12 men though seemed to rally the Dons, who broke up continued to break up the field, battering the Sheffield line, but Doncaster couldn't get the breakthrough.
With eight minutes remaining, Cory Aston did brilliantly to steal the ball from Mike Emmett before breaking up field. The field possession then led to Rob Worrincy superbly bundling his way over in the corner, to increase Sheffield's lead.
The Eagles then wrapped up the victory on the hooter, with Aston intercepting a kick, before racing 50 metres to score under the posts and Walker's conversion sealed the derby win for Sheffield.
Full Time: Doncaster RLFC 4-26 Sheffield Eagles
View the full article