Balance of power has shifted to Eagles, says coach

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SHEFFIELD Eagles hope their try-scoring form will blast away defending champions Halifax in the second round of the Championship play-offs.

A win at Bramall Lane on Sunday (3pm) would put the Eagles one game away from a first appearance in a Grand Final.

“We’re scoring points, 36 last week and 52 the week before and defensively we’ve had a great attitude,” said coach Mark Aston. “Our attitude and desire to win is there for everyone to see and we want to keep that going. The players have put their hands up over the last few weeks, we (the coaches) have told them what will work and they are doing it with positive outcomes. We need to keep doing that; it’s about being consistent.”

Halifax hammered Eagles 42-16 in the semi-finals last season before going on to win the Grand Final.

Aston feels that was “one game too far” but that the balance of power has now switched in the Eagles favour.

“There is a bit of history. This year we’re in a better position, we’re at home and we know tat we’re capable of beating Halifax,” he said.

“We beat them at Bramall Lane in the league and should have won at their place because we scored three tries to two but lost by two points.

Halifax have appointed Batley boss Karl Harrison as head coach but caretaker coach Damian Bell will continue in charge of the team which includes former Eagles winger Rob Worrincy and forward Sam Barlow. Eagles’ officials will be watching the attendance closely after last Friday’s game with Widnes attracting the lowest crowd of the season, 564.

He said: “I’d be disappointed if a lot of people didn’t get behind us because of what we have achieved this season. The game is on Sunday and it’s the last home game this year and I’d like to think that people appreciated that long-term we want to bring Super League rugby back to the city.”