Sheffield: ‘Massive’ clash for Bawtry Road opener

Elliot Minchella could make his Eagles debut against Halifax tonight
Elliot Minchella could make his Eagles debut against Halifax tonight
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Sheffield Eagles’ clash with Halifax tonight is a game not to be missed says director of rugby Mark Aston.

Two of the Championship’s big hitters lock horns in round two of the competition as the Eagles host Richard Marshall’s side in their new Bawtry Road home (8pm).

Both sides made impressive starts to the new campaign with the Eagles clinically dispatching Workington at Derwent Park, whilst Fax racked up over 50 points in crushing defeat of Whitehaven at The Shay.

Even at this early stage of the campaign Aston has described the fixture as massive, with his new look Eagles side set to face a stern test of their top four credentials.

“It is a massive game,” Aston told The Star. “Halifax have a really strong squad and they had a great season in 2015, and everyone is expecting big things from them.

“By all accounts they were outstanding last weekend. The have a very good kicking game with Gareth Moore and Scott Murrell so we know that we have to be good.

“The game is well set because we scored 40-plus points last week and they scored 50 plus points.

“It is going to be a real humdinger so I urge fans to get down to Bawtry Road because it promises not only to be one of the games of the week, but one of the games of the early rounds.

“Conditions weren’t great at Workington but what our performance showed was that we are in good shape. Fitness wise the lads are looking sharp so it is all very positive.”

Aston is set to choose from a full squad of players with competition fierce in the Eagles’ full-time ranks.

New signings Elliot Minchella and Garry Lo missed out at Workington, but Aston confirmed that the duo weren’t injured and are pushing for a place in the 17 for tonight’s game.

“There are no injuries, it was purely down to selection at Workington,” he confirmed. “We went with the team that we felt would get the result last weekend, but we have people looking over their shoulder because when you have players like that not involved then you know there is competition for places.

“Garry can score tries, we know that, and Elliot has played in Super League, they are quality players.

“Friday is a different game, will we change? We’ll have to wait and see.”