Doncaster 22 Sheffield Eagles 40

Doncaster Rugby League Football Club logo
Doncaster Rugby League Football Club logo

SHEFFIELD Eagles soared out of sight in the last 15 minutes to defeat the Dons in a competitive friendly encounter at the Keepmoat.

The two sides went back and forth for most of the contest with a great deal of energy and determination and the Dons led for a good portion of the time.

But their higher league opponents turned the screw in the later stages to secure the win and lift the Autism Plus South Yorkshire Cup.

The Eagles opened the scoring on six minutes when Scott Turner went over in the corner.

The ball was spread down the line well and an under pressure Menzie Yere cheekily laid off behind his back for Turner to sneak through the gap.

Sheffield enjoyed the better of the possession in the early stages but the Dons hit back on the quarter hour with their first real foray into opposition territory.

Mark Castle broke and smashed through several attacking attempts before Carl Hughes found Mike Emmett who crashed over under the posts.

Lee Waterman landed the simple conversion to take Doncaster ahead.

Despite a good period of play from the hosts it was Sheffield who found the next score.

A fantastic long pass from Simon Brown gave the powerful Yere with just one man to beat from five metres out and he powered through the challenge to score, Brown converting.

Sheffield piled on the pressure but a fantastic breakaway from Stewart Sanderson saw the Dons land the suckerpunch.

Sanderson was alert and picked up a stray Eagles pass before running more than three quarters of the field.

Yere put him under pressure but Sanderson had the legs to carry himself over in the corner.

Waterman landed the conversion from a difficult angle to put Doncaster ahead as the half hour mark approached.

The Dons were almost caught out with poor cover again in the late stages of the half but a somewhat overeager approach from Sheffield brought a forward pass just a couple of metres shy of the line.

Buoyed, they grabbed the next try on the stroke of half time.

Dean Colton sent a little chip over the Eagles cover and collected the ball on the bounce before surging through the confused opposition ranks.

He then sent a pass to Waterman, who dummied and dotted down before missing the conversion with the last action of the half.

Sheffield spent the opening five minutes of the second half camped within sight of the Dons’ line and the pressure eventually told on a defence which had performed resolutely.

Dominic Brambani spotted a clear gap and galloped through to score, Brown converting to level up.

Possession went back and forth but it was the hosts who grabbed the next try.

A fantastic drive by Craig Lawton was stopped just before the line and Nathan Powley collected the play the ball and dived over under the posts, Waterman converting.

The Dons defence was caught napping as Sheffield levelled up the match.

Sam Williamson galloped through a huge gap to go over under the posts, leaving a simple conversion for Brambani to leave the score at 22-22 with little more than 15 minutes to go.

Sheffield took the lead on 70 minutes with Michael Knowles powering through a tackle after collecting a pass a couple of yards from the line, Brambani converting.

The game then drifted away from Doncaster as the Eagles grabbed another try soon after.

Brambani broke clear from half way and had the pace to reach the line ahead of the stranded Dons defenders before converting.

And within a few minutes the Eagles had sealed the game in somewhat fortunate fashion.

Mick Butterfield looked to take possession of a simple Sheffield kick through but fumbled the ball and the alert Lee Sanders pounced to touch down, Knowles converting.