Eagles dare to match greatest triumph

Featherstone Rovers 16 Sheffield Eagles 20

Halliwell Jones Stadium

Sheffield Eagles won their biggest trophy since their unforgettable Wembley triumph of 1998, by beating the hot favourites for the Co-operative Championship title.

Just like Wigan 14 years ago, Featherstone Rovers were shocked by an inspired Eagles performance. Mark Aston, the Eagles' man of the match on that famous day and now their coach, as well as the man who revived them, called it a win "that ranks with anything we've ever done. Thirteen years ago, we didn't even have a team, but this makes those 13 years all worthwhile."

Rovers were out to cement their status as the best-equipped club outside Super League – and not necessarily outside it for ever. All the early indications, though, were that there would be no repeat of the 40 points they stuck on the same opponents 12 months ago. Sheffield had built up plenty of momentum on their surge into this year's Grand Final from fourth place – and it showed.

Alex Scott had a try disallowed for offside early on and, after nine minutes, the Eagles took the lead with one that did count. Menzie Yere, the Papua New Guinean known in that country as The Jukebox – because he has all the big hits – slipped the ball out of a tackle and Scott Turner finished in the corner.

Featherstone built a modest lead with Ian Hardman's try and two goals from Liam Finn, but it was Sheffield who finished the half in style.

Starting near their own line through Yere and Turner, they swept upfield to score through Quentin Laulu-Togagae and the suspicion was then that an upset was on the cards.

The second half was a fluctuating affair, with Rovers levelling through Finn's penalty, going behind to Dane McDonald's try and hitting the front again through Jonny Hepworth. But when Misi Taulapapa plucked Dominic Brambani's kick out of the air to score on the right wing, he gave them a lead they were to hold, even though the last 10 minutes resembled a siege.

The Featherstone coach, Daryl Powell, himself a former Eagle, had no complaints about Rovers' failure to retain their title. "I can't argue with the result," he said. "They're a magnificent club and they deserve all the accolades that will come their way."

Sheffield, meanwhile, do not rule out a tilt at Super League themselves: an unlikely prospect, but Sheffield specialise in the unlikely.

Featherstone: Hardman; Ropati, Chappell, Worthington, Saxton; Kain, Finn; England, Kaye, Lockwood, Dale, Spiers, Briggs. Substitutes used: Hepworth, Bostock, Maloney, Dickens. Sheffield: Laula-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Straugheir, Taulapapa; Brown, Brambani; Howieson, Henderson, Stringer, Knowles, Scott, Szostak. Substitutes used: Davey, McDonald, Green, Higgins. Referee: T.Roby (Dewsbury)

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments