Rugby League: Doncaster RLFC edged out by Sheffield in first pre-season match

Doncaster RLFC failed to regain the South Yorkshire Trophy as they went down 36-18 at home to Sheffield Eagles at the Keepmoat.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 10:49 am
Dons v Sheffield Eagles. Doncaster's Josh Rickett and Sheffield's Anthony Thackeray, pictured. Picture: NSST-19-01-20 DonsvSheffieldEagles 1-NMSY
Dons v Sheffield Eagles. Doncaster's Josh Rickett and Sheffield's Anthony Thackeray, pictured. Picture: NSST-19-01-20 DonsvSheffieldEagles 1-NMSY

As was the case when Eagles produced a late match-winning rally when the two teams last met in the quarter-final of the 1895 Cup last year, the Championship side finished stronger.

They scored a further three unanswered tries after coming from behind to lead 20-18 with an unconverted 70th minute score.

Despite the defeat there were far more positives than negatives for the the Dons, who paraded all their new signings.

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Dons v Sheffield Eagles. Sheffield's Rob Worrincy and Doncaster's Josh Rickett, pictured. Picture: NSST-19-01-20 DonsvSheffieldEagles 12-NMSY

They showed spirit when coming back from a 12-0 deficit in the first quarter to turn around at 12-12.

Debutant hooker Harry Archer forced his way over from acting half-back prior to second-rower Brad England also crossing from close range.

Eagles enjoyed the better of the exchanges in the first quarter of the second and it took some outstanding try-line defence by the Dons to keep them out until the 54th minute.

It was strong-running forward, and former Doncaster man, Frankie Mariano who finally breached the Doncaster line.

Dons v Sheffield Eagles. Doncaster's Rangi Chase, pictured. Picture: NSST-19-01-20 DonsvSheffieldEagles 2-NMSY

International half-backs Rangi Chase and Watson Boas combined four minutes later to put the hosts 18-16 up. Chase dummied his way past several defenders around the halfway line and then found Boas on his inside and the PNG star raced away to score a try converted by teenager Kieron Lawton.

But then came Eagles' late flurry.

Dons: Logan, Halliday, Smeaton, Tali, Rickett, Boas, Chase, Boyle, Carter, Douglas,Foster, McLoughlin, Wilkinson. Subs: Horne, Peltier, England, Ollett, Doherty, Lawton, Howe, Holdstock.

Eagles: Guzdek, Worrincy, Bower, McComb, Miller, Makelim, Thackeray, Dixon, Greg Burns, Mariano, Davies, Joel Farrell, Brown. Subs: Broadbent, Burns, Isaac Farrell, Mulvany, Taylor, Ward, Yere.

Dons v Sheffield Eagles.Sheffield's Josh Guzdek, pictured. Picture: NSST-19-01-20 DonsvSheffieldEagles 4-NMSY