Positive Eagles must be smiles better

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SHEFFIELD Eagles are hoping that Hunslet Hawks will be the fall guys again as they rediscover their match winning form.

In May Eagles followed one of their worst performances, at Halifax, by blasting Hunslet 70-12 for their biggest win of the season.

After defeats at Leigh and Featherstone the Eagles go to South Leeds Stadium on Sunday looking for a morale-boosting victory. Coach Mark Aston said: “A big win would be nice but the way we are playing we’re in danger of beating ourselves. I’m hoping that at Featherstone the lads hit rock bottom and we’ll move on. We need to go to Hunslet with a smile on our face and be positive.”

Loose forward Joe Hirst is expected back after a hamstring strain but half-back Quentin Laulu-Togagae is still struggling with a similar injury. On loan Jason Crookes has a suspected hernia and Misi Taulapapa may switch to centre after finishing the Featherstone game in that role. That could see Vinny Finigan or Jonny Woodcock starting at fullback. Hunslet are facing an instant return to Championship One. They are second from bottom and haven’t won for 11 games.

Aston fears the pitch won’t suit the Eagles’ desire to play fast open rugby. “It’ll be scrappy, it’s on a tight pitch – it’s small and narrow. We have to have the will to get the result. When we played them at Bramall Lane it was with plenty of space and we ripped them to bits, we won’t have that on Sunday.