Rugby League: Mariners clip Eagles' wings

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The Independent Online
Sheffield Eagles 4 Hunter Mariners 40

Sheffield never looked remotely likely to repeat the World Club Championship blow they struck on Britain's behalf last weekend, Hunter proving much sterner opponents than Perth and putting the locals firmly in their place.

Dreams of a second win in the competition were soon dashed and never rebuilt as the Mariners, spearheaded by a hat-trick from their excellent full back, Robbie Ross, ran out convincing winners.

Both sides had predictable problems handling the ball in the driving rain at the Don Valley Stadium, but the Mariners overcame those difficulties after 14 minutes and hardly looked back for the rest of the half.

The Iro brothers were instrumental in the game's first points, Tony breaking out of his own half and passing to Kevin. The former Wigan centre ripped his way through some poor tackling and Robbie Ross was in support for a try converted by Noel Goldthorpe.

Within three minutes, Hunter had repeated the dose and doubled the score, Goldthorpe's long pass releasing Brett Kimmorley for Darrien Doherty to go over.

Mark Aston got Sheffield off the mark with a penalty, but the Mariners were finding it alarmingly easy to open them up as they did again when Kevin Iro and Ross combined to put Keith Beauchamp in at the corner.

Immediately before half-time Hunter went over again, Willie Poching taking the ball from the base of the scrum, dummying to pass and going 40 yards completely unopposed. Sheffield's heroics of Sunday night now seemed a very distant memory.

Sheffield made a start on closing the gap when Aston landed his second penalty but what was needed was a quick try and their best attacking spell went without them getting one. Instead, the Mariners went for the other end, Goldthorpe was held up over the line and, from the scrum, Ross joined the line to good effect sending in John Carlaw.

Kimmorley wriggled through some static Sheffield defence to put the Australian side even more in control. Ross crashed on to a short pass for his second try and chimed in again for his third three minutes from time.

Sheffield Eagles: Stott; Pinkney, Morganson, Taewa, Garcia; Senior, Aston; Broadbent, Lawless, Edmed, Carr, McAllister, Vassilakopoulos. Substitutes: Flynn, Mycoe, Wright, Erba.

Hunter Mariners: Ross; Beauchamp, K Iro, Wise, Carlow; Kimmorley, Goldforthe; Doherty, McCormack, Brann, T Iro, Piccanelli, Poaching. Substitutes: Godden, Zisti, Stone, Marquet.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford).

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