Eagles complete landmark fixture by beating Rovers 38-28 to secure a top four finish

Thomas Minns
Thomas Minns
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Playing for high stakes Sheffield Eagles just had the best hand to mark the club’s 1000th game with a result that ensures a top four finish.

Featherstone had to win to keep their Middle Eight hopes alive and gambled on an adventurous approach that made for a thrilling game. Twice Fev pulled back to within two points of Sheffield and in spite of four tries from centre Thomas Minns could never pull clear.

Rovers set the early tempo with tries from Minns and Paul Sykes with the half-back converting the first.

Sheffield substituted the front row, the surge was slowed and they hit back in the final seven minutes of the half.

Michael Knowles ran on to a chip kick from Kyle Briggs and Duane Straugheir collected a sharp pass from Dominic Brambani. Quentin Laulu-Togagae’s break sent Rob Worrincy in and Briggs kicked the goals for an 18-10 lead.

Menzie Yere rolled in from dummy half after the restart but Rovers reply saw Reni Maitua sweep in and Sykes adding the extras.

Worrincy went from villain to hero as his wild pass gifted Minns a try but then snapped up a loose ball for his second touchdown.

Minns claimed his hat-trick try after a break by Ben Blackmore and for a second time Rovers were back within two points.

Scott Turner squeezed in at the corner but Minns claimed his fourth to set the nerves racing before Sam Smeaton picked up a loose ball to power in with Briggs kicking his fifth goal.

Sheffield: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Smeaton, Worrincy; Briggs, Brambani; Thorpe, Carlile, Stringer, Knowles, Straugheir, Taulapapa. Subs: Battye, Davey, Davies, Tonks.

Featherstone: Sharpe; Blackmore, Hardman, Minns, Hitchcox; Cooke, Sykes; Baldwinson, Ellis, Wood, Cording, Maitua, Bussey. Subs: Spears, James. Ormondroyd, Teasdale.

Referee: Mike Woodhead (RFL).

Attendance: 2,443