Sheffield Eagles moved up to fifth in the Championship as they cruised past relegated Rochdale with ease.
Eagles had too much pace and power after a slow spell in the first half they took control with Cory Aston scoring a hat-trick of tries.
Last night’s game originally was scheduled for February but was postponed because the pitch at Owlerton was waterlogged. It was played at Sheffield Hallam University’s Sport Park, Bawtry Road – the Eagles training base – because it has a pitch with floodlights.
A 40-20 from Kyle Briggs gave Eagles early position and they made it count with the stand-off putting in a grubber kick for Duane Straugheir to touch down. Patch Walker added the goal.
Rochdale were trying to build pressure but found progress hard against an organised Sheffield defence with Alex McClug held close as they struggled to get into the final 10 metres before the tackles ran out.
Eagles were throwing the ball about but were guilty of some sloppy play and gifting possession with penalties.
Winger Scott Turner just couldn’t get to a kick from Briggs and Rochdale’s Ryan Millard made a great break but wasted it with a wild pass.
But Eagles burst into life with two tries in six minutes from Cory Aston on his recall to the team for the injured Dominick Brambani. The half-back side-stepped the cover before going in and followed it by taking Peter Green’s pass to sweep in.
Hooker James Davey squeezed over just before the break and Walker converted two to give Eagles a 22-0 lead.
A 60-metree break by Lelauloto Tagaloa which exposed sluggish Rochdale defence pushed out the Eagles lead from the restart. Walker kicked hs fourth goal.
Centre Menzie Yere, who has just signed a new one-year deal, finished a passing move to power in at the corner. Scott Turner just got to a grubber kick to squeeze in at the corner and Aston completed his hat-trick from Eddie Battye’s pass. Quentin Laulu-Toagagae completed the scoring in the final minute with Briggs converting the last two tries.