Cup success helps Aston to make up his mind

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SHEFFIELD Eagles coach Mark Aston already knows the team he wants to put out in the top-of-the-table clash with Halifax.

The final pieces fell into place following the Challenge Cup win over amateurs Oulton Raiders when he was able to give game time to players coming back from injury.

“There were plenty of positives. We have won the game, and we have no injuries which is important with Halifax coming,” Aston said.

“That gives me a few selection problems but I know now what my 17 will be on Thursday night.”

One of the Championship’s unbeaten records will go when fourth placed Halifax and the Eagles meet at Bramall Lane in a live TV game.

Aston rested eight first team regulars for the Oulton clash and was boosted by strong performances from Dane McDonald, Michael Knowles and Alex Rowe on their return from injury in the 56-8 win.

Karl Harrison, the Halifax coach, was more conservative but saw his team run up a club record score of 94-4 against Hull amateurs Myton Warriors.

Aston will have a nearly fully fit squad to choose from with only winger Tim Bergin sidelined. The Irish international is facing up to two months out with a pelvic injury.

It is a major blow for Bergin who is in a three-way battle for a first team jersey with Nev Morrison and Vinny Finigan this season.

Bergin pulled up in the first round of the Northern Rail Cup a month ago and his worst fears have been confirmed.

Eagles will travel to Championship rivals York City Knights in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup following the draw last night. Doncaster have drawn a Super League club with a trip to Bradford.