Director of Rugby Mark Aston says Sheffield Eagles’ tough run-in to the Kingstone Press Championship season will give them an edge coming into the Super 8s.
The Eagles ended their regular season by playing three of the division’s top five clubs, whilst also locking horns with full-time oufit London Broncos, who were the only league side to defeat Champions Leigh Centurions all season.
Aston’s side showed a steely determination to defeat Bradford, Featherstone and the Broncos to take vital momentum into the Super 8s, which begin on Sunday against Bradford at Odsal Stadium.
It is Aston’s firm belief that the tough examination at the back end of the campaign will be the perfect tonic for his side coming into the promotion/relegation showdown.
“We had three tough games at the back end of the season against teams that were in Super League 12 months ago, whilst we also played Featherstone who are always near the top end of The Championship,” Aston confirmed to The Star.
“We spoke about the fixtures at the start of the season, and we thought if we did well having three tough games at the end of the season, before we enter the tougher games, would be a great benefit to us.”
The Eagles have enjoyed a two week break from competitive action, whilst some members of Aston’s squad will have had a three week break after he chose to rest some of his star names for the game against London. Whilst the break will have been beneficial, Aston confirmed his side are raring to go again, and will have no fear despite being the outsiders for promotion.
“We are going into every game, whether it is against a team from Super League or The Championship, to win it,” confirmed a bullish Aston.
“The lads had a few days off, but we got them back in and preparations started for the first round of the middle eights. We were fortunate enough against London to rest one or two players, they have had some down time now and we have to look at the squad and pick a side that we think can win.
“We cannot wait, we have been really looking forward to it and it is a different challenge for the Sheffield Eagles. We will eventually be pitting ourselves against teams from Super League and the top teams in The Championship, it is exciting times.”