Sheffield Eagles: Aston’s men out to keep up good form

Peter Green
Peter Green
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Sheffield Eagles can move up to fifth in the Championship if they beat Rochdale Hornets tonight.

Mark Aston’s team need to win by a margin of nine points or more to edge above Dewsbury on points scored-conceded difference.

The Eagles are running into form with three straight wins as they face a Rochdale side who will definitely be playing in the third tier next season.

Their recent strong run finally saw them secure a top eight finish in the Championship with the focus now turning to the highest finish possible.

“It’s all about getting the wins now,” said Aston.

“We’re showing a bit of form but are still giving soft tries away.

“Rochdale have all to gain and nothing to lose and will want to express themselves and play.”

It’s the final home league game of the season and was originally scheduled for the opening day in February but a waterlogged pitch forced a postponement.

The game is being played at Sheffield Hallam University’s Sports Park, Bawtry Road (kick-off 7.30pm) and Aston is hoping for an ‘Aussie-style evening.’

“Supporters will be watching close to the action and will really get the ‘feel’ of what’s happening,” he said.

“If the weather is kind it will be a bit like the way people watch rugby in Australia – on the grass with a beer watching ‘footie’ as they call it.”

With two games in four days several players face fitness tests.

Captain Mitch Stringer was given only two relatively short spells in the win over Whitehaven so as not to aggravate a knee problem.

Michael Knowles (ribs) and Peter Green (sternum) missed last Sunday’s game and remain a doubt.

Aston said: “Michael and Peter have to be a concern and it will be touch and go if they can be considered.

“But we’ve outstanding reserves - Tom Ashton, Peter Aspinall - who are ready to play, that’s important to us and I’ll have no qualms about playing them.”