Playing the second-placed team in the Super League may be just what Sheffield Eagles need to bring the spark back to a season that is in danger of mis-firing.
Coach Mark Aston says the stage is set for a big performance against Castleford Tigers in the fifth round of the Challenge Cup.
“The pressure is not on us; we’re going through a bad patch and this game couldn’t have come at a better time,” he said. “This is the game we need to kick start our season against the form team in the Super League. We can go to Cas, relax and enjoy and come off the field proud.”
The Eagles part-time players will be massive outsiders when they travel to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle on Sunday (kick-off 3.30pm)
They lost the South Yorkshire derby to Doncaster and Aston has a mounting injury list with key players Menzie Yere and Michael Knowles out.
Centre Corey Hanson looks set for a recall after a month on loan at Championship One Gloucester. James Davey could also return providing cover at hooker for Andrew Henderson, who will be facing his former club.
Aston said: “We’re struggling for injuries but the boys are up for it. We’re looking forward to Castleford; they’ve got a great ground and it will be a hostile atmosphere.
“Castleford are full time and are playing well and we need to be strong.”