Sheffield Eagles crashed to their first home defeat of the season after going down 24-26 to struggling Whitehaven.
Three unanswered Haven scores either side of half-time left the Eagles with too much to do, despite a late rally which included tries from Rob Worrincy and Quentin Laulu-Togagae.
Worrincy’s late score completed a hat-trick for the winger, but it wasn’t enough to prevent back-to-back defeats for the hosts who were left stunned by a Haven side who only registered their first points of the season last weekend.
The way the Eagles started the game gave little indication of a surprise away victory. Aston’s side recorded the opening try on four minutes when a long pass out wide from Michael Knowles allowed Worrincy to score in the corner. Knowles missed the conversion.
Any notion of the visitors crumbling were quickly dashed when they levelled the scores soon after. Craig Calvert grounded in the corner but John Paul Brocklebank missed the extras.
Eagles were back in front when following good work from Elliot Minchella, Cory Aston kicked to the corner to find Worrincy who bagged his second try of the afternoon. Knowles missed the difficult conversion attempt.
Whitehaven levelled for a second time with Calvert getting his second score, again in the corner, but Brocklebank missed yet another tough conversion.
Mistakes in attack were costing the Eagles dearly, and Haven took advantage to go in front just before the break thanks to an Elliot Miller score, this time Louis Jouffret missed the extras.
A disastrous start to the second half then effectively cost Mark Aston’s side the game. A spill by Worrincy gave possession to the visitors with Scott McAvoy running in try number four. Another mistake then gave Haven the platform to score again through Miller, but both conversion attempts were missed.
With the next score crucial Eagles gave themselves a lifeline when quick thinking by Keal Carlile sent Knowles over the whitewash, and he converted to reduce the deficit.
Whitehaven pulled further clear with a try from Liam Carberry, Ed Chamberlain added the two, but the Eagles got back in the contest with Worrincy’s third try but Knowles crucially missed with the kick.
The Eagles got themselves within two points when a break from Mark Mexico was rounded off by Laulu-Togagae. Cory Aston kicked the extras but it was too little too late as the Eagles slipped to their third defeat of the campaign.
Eagles: Laulu-Togagae, Worrincy, Yere, Tyson, Blackmore; Aston, Jacks; Thorpe, Carlile, Mexico, Knowles, Straugheir; Minchella. Interchange: Fozard, Stringer, James, Wheeldon.
Scorers: Tries: Worrincy (4,13,74), Knowles (58), Laulu-Togagae (76) Goals: Knowles 1/4, Aston 1/1
Whitehaven: Jouffret, Miller, Taylor, Chamberlain, Calvert; Brocklebank Gore; Brooks, Newton, Riley, McAvoy, Parker; Carberry. Interchange: Aiye, Holiday, Duffy, Davies.
Scorers: Tries: Calvert (8, 28), Miller (40, 51), McAvoy (47), Carberry (65) Goals: Brocklebank 0/2, Jouffret 0/3, Chamberlain 1/1