Eagles seek winning formula

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SAMOAN international Misi Taulapapa believes having booked a play-off slot will allow Sheffield Eagles to express themselves in their final three league games.

“There’s not as much pressure now – but these last few games will be hard, you want to keep winning,” he said.

“Getting in the play-offs is what you want first. Last year we finished in sixth and only went out at the last hurdle. Maybe we can go one better this time and make the Grand Final.”

Eagles made sure of their place in the play-offs with a losing bonus point from the 36-24 defeat at Barrow Raiders last weekend.

They return to Bramall Lane on Sunday to face Batley Bulldogs in the first of three straight home games that end their league season.

It is 11 weeks since the Eagles last played at the Lane. In that time they have played eight games winning four plus adding a couple of ‘bonuses’ for defeats of 12 or less points.

Sunday’s clash is a pressure game for both clubs. Batley needing the win to have a chance of holding on to the third place they have occupied for most of the season. Eagles need the victory to keep alive their slim hopes of moving into the top four and ensuring a home game in the first round of the play-off fixtures.

Taulapapa feels the team is starting to put their stuttering form behind them and could finish the season strongly.

Like the team the full back has run into form with four tries in the last four games and added: “I think I’m getting into my rhythm, it was a pretty slow start as it was last year but as you get a bit of confidence it gets better.

Fellow Samoan international Quentin Laulu-Togagae and back row forward Joe Hirst remain the main Eagles injury doubts for the Batley game with hamstring strains.