Sheffield Eagles: Halifax stand in way of push for top four

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Mark Aston stopped short of stating tomorrow’s game could be season-defining, but Sheffield Eagles’ hosting of Halifax could be a gateway to a late run at the top four.

The Eagles are seven points adrift of fourth-placed Featherstone and four off Fax who sit fifth.

A defeat at Belle Vue (kick-off 3pm) would almost spell the end of an unlikely late assault, but victory could prove the catalyst for what would be a remarkable turnaround following the team’s early-season struggles.

Director of rugby Aston has stated that tomorrow’s showdown is a “four-pointer”, and is using the 42-16 defeat at The Shay in February as extra motivation.

“We know that we are capable,” he said. “We’re well aware of the lesson we had at Halifax and we were not happy about that.

“We have to get it right and we have to come up with a really good performance this week.”

The Eagles were hopeful of adding an extra body before tomorrow’s clash, but it appears that Aston may have to wait until next week to patch up a squad which has been hit by injury.

Aston has already confirmed Duane Straugheir (groin) is out, while Ben Blackmore (leg) is also expected to be sidelined after limping out of last weekend’s victory over Rochdale.

Aston is expecting a stern test from Richard Marshall’s side.

“Halifax are a consistent team because they haven’t had much change,” he added.

“We are a bit different in that we have had change and we are still evolving.

“We are a developing group and we are still understanding each other. For me. there is no doubt that will continue for the next six or seven games. Halifax have had that consistency, and that is represented in where they have finished over recent years.”

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