Keighley Cougars 24 Sheffield Eagles 42

Two Scott Law tries were not enough as Keighley were well beaten by champions Sheffield at Cougar Park today.

Cougars were well in the game up until half-time, despite being 14-6 down, with Eagles looking like they were there for the taking after their slow start to the campaign.

But a lacklustre second half, which saw the home side ship a further 28 points, meant Keighley suffered a heavy defeat.

Cougars player-coach Paul March was not happy with the way his side performed.

“Only eight or nine players turned up today. The others were passengers,” he said.

“We started well and we took it to them but when we started turning that ball over in their end, you know that Sheffield are a quality side and they’re going to punish you and that’s exactly what they did.

“Every time we made an error or gave a penalty they were under the sticks putting the ball down for four points, so we’ve got to learn from that.”

Sheffield opened the scoring through former Brad-ford centre Duane Strau-gheir. Keighley hit back as Danny Jones put up a banana kick leading to Law touching down beneath the sticks. Jones converted.

The visitors quickly regained the lead, with Quentin Laulu-Togagae and then Michael Knowles scoring before half-time.

The Eagles came out flying after the break with a further two tries in the opening five minutes through Scott Tuner and Menzie Yere.

Cougars kept their slim hopes alive as Josh Lynam latched on to Jack Lee’s speculative kick to touch down and Jones added the extras. But that was as close as they got, with Laula-Togagae and Pat Walker scoring to put the Eagles out of sight.

Andy Shickell barged over to restore bonus-point hopes but Matt Garside’s 70th-minute score dashed them. Law secured some late pride with a final-minute try, Jones adding the two.

Cougars: Jesse Sheriffe; Barnett, Cosgrove, Lawton, White; Jones, Handforth, Shickell, Haigh, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Law. Subs: Jode Sheriffe, Cherryholme, Lee, Peltier.

Sheffield Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Straugheir, Taulapapa; Walker, Brambani; Lillycrop, Owen, Stringer, Knowles, Green, Hope. Subs: Tagaloa, Davey, Garside, Burke, Esposito.

Referee: Dave Merrick; Attendance: 927