Sheffield Eagles have exalted their fans to ‘Join the Journey’ as they start their season in exile with a first home game of the season at Doncaster’s Keepmoat Stadium.
Supporters making the trip on the M18 will be hoping to be rewarded following defeat in the opening game at Dewsbury Rams.
Mark Aston’s team face London Broncos who are seeking to bounce back after being relegated from the Super League.
Eagles will play their home games at the Keepmoat while work is progressing on a new stadium on the old Don Valley site.
Aston is quick to point out the big pitch will suit his team’s attacking style after last year’s unhappy stop-over at Owlerton but it will also be a test of stamina against the Broncos’ full-time squad.
London will be well briefed with Eagles’ former hooker Andrew Henderson an assistant coach and back row forward Matt Garside also moving to the capital in the close season.
Broncos had a scare in the their first round game taking a 20-0 lead before squeezing past Doncaster 26-22
Games at the Keepmoat will be double headers with on Sunday fans able to watch the Dons face Featherstone (kick-off 2pm) and the Eagles at 4.15pm. Aston is conscious his team must avoid being left adrift in the early rounds of the race for a top four finish.
He needs a tighter performance with fewer penalties and errors that marred the 19-10 defeat at Dewsbury.
“We need to get the show on the road,” said Aston.
“We are at home and on a nice big pitch and we need to entertain and play.
“We didn’t get started at Dewsbury so we need to dust ourselves down and get forward.”
Half-back Kyle Briggs set up the tries for winger Scott Turner’s try and loose-forward Pat Walker as the Eagles took a 10-0 lead at Dewsbury but the home side edged ahead with two converted tries just before half-time.
An increasingly scrappy second half saw the Rams - who had lost in their last 16 meeting with the Eagles - seal the points with a late drop goal and try. The positives were a good debut for Australian prop Steve Thorpe and the way the team look strong and fit if a little ring rusty.
For the London game Aston will be checking on the fitness of key signing forward Jamie Langley with Aussie hooker Blake South and winger Rob Worrincy in his thinking.