Sheffield Eagles: Battle of the form teams

Daryl Powell Head Coach Featherstone Rovers
Daryl Powell Head Coach Featherstone Rovers
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SHEFFIELD Eagles have their sights set on taking over as Championship leaders when they play Featherstone Rovers this evening.

Eagles’ coach Mark Aston is up against his former team-mate Daryl Powell who will be seeking revenge after Rovers’ defeat in last season’s Grand Final.

“It should be a cracking game and we’re looking to take that spot off Rovers,” said Aston.

“Featherstone didn’t beat us in the league last year and I know Daryl will be talking about that and the Grand Final has added some spice,” said Aston.

“It’s about the 17 players we each put out and we’ll have a drink at the end of the game and the best team will win.”

They are the form teams in the league with Featherstone unbeaten and the Eagles defending a five-game winning run.

Eagles need a big win and prevent Rovers taking a losing bonus point if they are to take over the league leadership.

The game has been switched to Don Valley Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm) because Bramall Lane has been hit by the weather.

It will mean more work for the forwards and Eagles’ exciting backs must cope with a narrower pitch - but Aston doesn’t expect that to cramp the team’s attacking style.

“The groundsman at Don Valley has done a fantastic job, the pitch will be fine,” he said.

“The pitch is smaller but we know how to play here. We will have to adapt, but not a lot.”

Aston is forced to make a change with prop Liam Higgins out with an ankle injury. Loan signing from Salford Reds Ben Gledhill may make his debut. Italian international Dario Esposito signed from Dewsbury Rams last week and Colton Roche are also challenging for a call up.

“Rovers are playing well but we scored 40 points against a very good Leigh team,” said Aston. “The boys know what I want and I’m confident they will put in a big performance.”