RUGBY LEAGUE: Injury victim Joe misses out with

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FORWARD Joe Hirst will miss a rare game for Sheffield Eagles when they play Keighley Cougars tonight.

The backrower has played 21 out of 23 games this season but is out with a knee injury, joining centre Menzie Yere on the sidelines.

Michael Knowles could take the 13 shirt with forwards Peter Green, Duane Straugheir added to the squad with hooker or half-back Pat Smith.

Coach Mark Aston said: “We can’t risk players at this stage in the season.

“Joe has been playing well but there is good cover in the squad.”

With a weekend without a game coming up Eagles’ players can earn themselves a few days off - if they beat Cougars at Don Valley tonight, 7.30pm.

“As long as I’m happy with our performance and our lads train hard next week there’s always a chance of getting the weekend off,” said Aston.

“We’re still smarting from getting beat at Keighley and I can promise them a torrid time.”

A win is vital if the Eagles are to mount a charge on the top three places with only four league games left.

“We have to keep winning and hope that someone slips up,” said Aston.

Keighley have won their last two games and look set to make the play-offs in their first season back in the Championship.

Player-coach Jason Demetriou has brought in Super League players half-back Sam Obst, prop Michael Korkidas and ex-Eagles’ winger Richie Barnett.

Aston said: “It’ll be a big forward battle, Keighley have a good kicking game and have danger across the field. We got the script right at Batley last week.

“We were composed, you need to be in big games.”