Eagles target scoring earlier points

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PROP forward Mitch Stringer is determined to avoid another last-minute scramble for a result when Sheffield Eagles face unbeaten Leigh Centurions.

Stringer’s try in the final seconds and Tim Bergin’s touchline conversion earned the Eagles a vital 16-16 draw with Whitehaven last weekend.

“We don’t want that again,” said Stringer. “We’d like to put games to bed earlier than that but Whitehaven played really well and completed their sets and we struggled at times.

“It’s a massive test at Leigh and we’ll have to be a lot better and play to the game plan.”

Stringer is convinced he should have been awarded a try three minutes earlier when he battered his way to the Whitehaven line but the referee ruled he was prevented from getting the ball down.

“I wasn’t held up – I scored, I definitely scored,” he said. “It made me more determined, we needed some points.

“When I got the try I thought we were four points down but Tim put in a great kick and a draw is all right, I suppose.”

The draw keeps Eagles in a group of four unbeaten teams in Pool 2 of the Northern Rail Cup. If they can hold that place they will make the knockout stages and Sunday’s trip to Leigh is crucial as the winners will almost certainly book a quarter-final place.

Eagles’ tie with Leeds Met University in the Carnegie Challenge Cup third round is likely to be at Don Valley Stadium on Sunday, March 6 (3pm). Doncaster, have a home tie against Thatto Heath.

n Meanwhile, amateur rugby league faces its biggest shake-up for a century, switching to a mainly summer-based competition, starting in 2012 and into line with the professional leagues.

The RFL’s community board has approved a four-tier structure with the season running from March to November.

Below the professional Super League and Championship, the third tier Conference Leagues will split geographically, North and South, into which nine regional leagues will feed and be entirely summer-based competitions. The fourth tier, regional and local leagues, will be mainly summer but with some winter competitions.