Fit-again Edwards primed for Eagles reunion

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HAVING missed the pre-season friendly against his old club, Dons forward Grant Edwards can’t wait for tomorrow’s Northern Rail Cup Pool B clash against Sheffield Eagles at the Keepmoat Stadium, kick-off 3pm.

He suffered a thigh muscle injury in the warm-up and was forced to sit out of the game, won 40-22 by the Eagles.

“It was really frustrating because I had been looking forward to playing against Eagles for the first time since I left them,” he told The Star. “Obviously that performance is going to give us a bit of confidence going into Sunday’s game because we played really well against them and we were level going into the last 10 minutes.

“They probably weren’t at full-strength, though neither were we, so you probably can’t read too much into the game. Having said that, it was a competitive encounter as games between the two clubs always are.”

Edwards played in the club’s 48-10 win at Gateshead in their opening Northern Rail Cup match on the previous Wednesday but sat out the second of their four pool games against York City Knights, which the visitors won 29-18.

“York are a division above us so we knew it was going to be a tougher game than against Gateshead, but I don’t think that we played as well as we can,” said Edwards.

“I don’t know if it was a case of some tired bodies from the Wednesday game. I thought we were disappointing in the first half to be fair. We fell off too many tackles, they were getting a roll-on, and we hardly completed a set (of six tackles).

“The second half was a lot better and we won it 12-4 and that’s the sort of form we’ve got to start with against Eagles, who are probably a stronger side than York.

“We are still gelling as a team because we’ve got a lot of new lads this season, and hopefully we’ll learn from our mistakes and not make them against Eagles.

“As I say, it’s going to be tough but if we want to get through to the knockout stages, which we haven’t for the last couple of years, it’s a game we need to win because statistics have shown that you generally have to win three of your four pool games to get through.”

n Stars of the past from both teams will take part in a touch and pass curtain raiser at 1.45pm. Among the Dons squad will be Audley Pennant, Maea David, Neil Turner, Kev Jones, Fata Sini, Keith Jones, and Stewart Piper.