Tetley’s Challenge Cup 4th Round – Sheffield Eagles 70 London Skolars 28

6th April 2014

Skolars crashed out of the Challenge Cup as Sheffield scored 12 tries, but it was a very much improved Skolars performance on their second trip to Yorkshire in consecutive weeks.

The Eagles reached the quarter finals last season, as well as reaching the Northern Rail Cup Final and winning their second successive Championship Grand Final and they soon showed that cup experience with early tries from Michael Knowles and Misi Taulapapa. Skolars defence couldn’t stop James Davey from cutting through the middle, but they were also able to pierce Eagles’ defence when Courtney Davies chased onto his own kick to score his first try for the club.

Mitch Stringer showed the power and skilful handling that made him such a loss when he left Broncos to set up the next Sheffield try for Jack Blagborough. Martyn Smith made a good break from dummy half before Louis Robinson was able to push through the defence to score Skolars’ second try, Matt Bradley converting. But the Eagles had the last say in the half when Quentin Laulu Togagae scored in the left corner.

The second half again saw the home side score two early tries from Lelauloto Tagoloa and Blagborough, the latter seeing Dominic Brambani miss a conversion for the first and only time in 12 attempts.

Dave Williams was held up over the line before Martyn Smith darted through the defence from 10 metres out. He scored a second ducking under the defence after Laulu-Togoagae had scored his second for Sheffield.

Joe Burke and Pat Walker added tries in quick succession before Lloyd O’Connor scored his first try for Skolars. Blagborough completed his hat-trick and Garside scored late on to put Eagles into the last 16.

It was Skolars’ 300th game since joining the professional ranks in 2003 and it also saw them play on the 43rd different ground in that period, with the Eagles now playing at Owlerton after moving from Don Valley.

Ibrahim Kabia made his first team debut for Skolars (Skolars’ appearance number 299)

1 Quentin Laula-Togagae
2 Scott Turner
3 Menzie Yere
4 Leiauloto Tagaloa
5 Misi Taulapapa
6 Pat Walker
7 Dominic Brambani
18 Tom Lilycrop
14 James Davey
10 Mitch Stringer
15 Matt Garside
16 Duane Straugher
11 Michael Knowles

Subs (all used)
24 Gareth Owen
21 Jack Blagborough
26 Jordan Burke
27 Peter Aspinall

Tries: Knowles (4), Taulapapa (10), Davey (22), Blagborough (32,50,75), Laula-Togagae (39,57), Tagoloa (43), Burke (67), Walker (69), Garside (78)
Goals: Brambani 11/12

1 John Paxton
5 Ibrahim Kabia
3 Mufaro Mvududu
4 Kazeem Fatouri
22 Judd Greenhalgh
6 Coutney Davies
7 Matt Bradley
14 Tely Pelo
15 Lloyd O’Connor
10 Dave Williams
11 Mike Worrincy
12 Anthony Cox
20 Sam Wellings

Subs (all used)
15 Martyn Smith
8 Rob Thomas
18 Louis Robinson
21 Michael Sykes

Tries: Davies (22), Robinson (34), Smith (54,62), O’Connor (71)
Goals: Bradley 4/5

Penalty count: 5-4
Half-time: 30-12

Referee: Peter Brooke
Attendance: 508

SCORING SEQUENCE: 6-0, 12-0, 18-0, 18-6, 24-6, 24-12, 30-12, 34-12, 40-12, 40-18, 46-18, 46-24, 52-24, 58-24, 58-28, 64-28, 70-28

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