Oh brother! Pat and Eddie braced for family duel

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BROTHERS Pat and Eddie Smith are set line up against each other when Sheffield Eagles face York City Knights tomorrow.

Pat is in the Eagles squad and younger brother Eddie has recently broken into the York first team.

“Eddie has been doing well, he’s only 18 years old but he’s been in the team the last few games,” said Pat.

“It will be interesting if we do play against each other that’s for sure.”

Hooker Pat and back row forward Eddie are likely to start on the subs’ bench for their respective clubs at Bramall Lane tomorrow.

It’s final league game of the season and a victory is vital for both clubs. The Eagles have to win to finish in fourth and ensure a home draw in the first round of the play-offs. Defeat for York could see them join Dewsbury in being relegated after only one season in the Championship.

Eagles coach Mark Aston said: “It’s a desperate weekend for lots of clubs. We want a big finish but it’ll be tough York will be fighting to stay in the competition. It’s massive for us to get a home draw in the play-offs. It gives fans a reward for supporting us and shows that we’ve made an improvement on last year.”

Aston has delayed his decision on the final 17. He must decide if Hull KR bound Misi Taulapapa continues at centre or teenager Corey Hanson is recalled.

Former Eagles’ centre James Ford, who opted to sign from York when he was released by Widnes this season, may return after shaking off an injury.

Aston is looking for a better defensive performance from the Eagles after they conceded five second half tries in the 34-12 defeat by Featherstone last weekend.

He said: “We showed for 40 minutes that we can compete but we have to put it together for longer.

“The senior players have to stand up and be leaders.”