SHEFFIELD EAGLES: Play-off Eagles bank on Brown

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SHEFFIELD Eagles boss Mark Aston is backing ‘on notice’ half-back Simon Brown to say farewell in the Championship Grand Final.

Aston gambled on a recall for Brown - who has signed a contract with York Knights for next season – for the opening play-off round.

It paid off with the half-back’s kicking game taking the Eagles to a 42-12 win over Batley Bulldogs and setting up a quarter-final trip to Halifax next Sunday.

“Simon’s said he wants to finish at Sheffield Eagles in the right way and if he carries on like that he’ll finish by getting us to a Grand Final and being part of a winning team,” said Aston.

“Simon hasn’t played for a couple of weeks but he was outstanding. He wants to take us to a final – it’s been a tough couple of weeks for us and Simon but that’s all put to bed.

“He wants to sign off with a statement. Simon said before the game ‘if I’m playing on Sunday, I’ll get the man of the match’ – you wouldn’t look much further than him after that performance.”

On-loan hooker James Davey faces tests this week after being knockout out in an incident during the second half of the Batley game.

Aston said: “There were few cheap shots as we saw with James Davey and I’m disappointed that there wasn’t a stronger message sent out by the referee.

“I think it should have been a red card – the kid didn’t know what day it was.”

Loose-forward Joe Hirst, who played his first game for nearly a month, aggravated a knee injury and winger Misi Taulapapa played after a pain-killing injection in a shoulder.

Victory over Halifax would put the Eagles one game away from a second successive Grand Final. Last year they lost 40-4 to Featherstone Rovers.