Sheffield Eagles boss stunned by Barrow Raiders’ 10-game losing streak
Sheffield Eagles director of rugby Mark Aston recognises the potential threat from opponents Barrow Raiders, stating he is surprised at their lowly league position.
The Eagles were narrowly defeated at Craven Park in round two, after a last gasp Pat Walker penalty secured a 24-22 victory.
After winning their opening game of the campaign, injury-ravaged Barrow have picked up just one point since, and are currently on a 10-game losing streak in all competitions.
The run of form puzzles Aston, who was impressed with the Raiders display earlier in the campaign.
The Eagles chief isn’t interested in the form guide as he prepares for the Summer Bash showdown at Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road (1pm), warning his troops their opponents have a squad capable of producing what would be an upset.
“They will be disappointed with their season, but with disappointment comes a danger to me,” Aston informed The Star.
“I am surprised to see them where they are. When I looked through their squad in the season preview, I looked at some of the names and I saw they had some really good players. We know all about the likes of Jake Spedding. They have the likes of Amean, Dean Cross who was nearly in our squad, Minoga is a force, Josh Johnson is a quality player, Jordan Walne another. They have a good squad, and I am always mindful of that.
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“They might be low on confidence but an occasion like this usually fetches the best out of teams. They are dangerous, so we'll have to be good, and we need to kick on from what we did against Leigh, and play for 80 minutes.”
The Eagles are set to go into the encounter virtually at full strength, but a return from injury for centre Jason Crookes is more likely to be planned for the Friday night hosting of Toronto.
After suffering back-to-back defeats, Aston says his side will be motivated to repeat last year’s result when they beat the same opposition in front of the Sky cameras.
He added: “I think the quality is there, they just need to find form. Let's hope it isn't this weekend because if it is, it will be a big challenge for us. We want to get a bit of recognition for what we stand for, so we want to go there and blast from minute one and carry it on for 80 minutes.”
Meanwhile, Sheffield Eagles youngster Rory Dixon has joined League One side Hunslet on a one-month loan deal.