Sheffield Eagles: Aston targets Cup double

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Eagles coach Mark Aston is targeting a cup double with a second quarter-finals place.

He has taken the Eagles into the last eight of the Challenge Cup, the only team outside the Super League left in the competition.

Now he is hoping to keep on track with a win over Barrow Raiders in the Northern Rail Cup, at Don Valley Stadium on Sunday.

“We want another quarter-final place,” he said. “It’s another cup competition and we want to go as far as can. We’ve showed we can handle knockout competitions.”

The Eagles have never reached the final of the Rail Cup but Aston feels that could change.

The 28-12 win over Halifax in the Challenge Cup avenged a narrow 24-22 loss in the semi-final of the Rail Cup to the West Yorkshire team last season.

“We were disappointed last year when we got beat by two points and had a try disallowed and I was smarting from that,” he said.

“We’ve never achieved as I would have hoped in the Northern Rail Cup but maybe this will be our year. Players want to get to the big games this is a Cup competition and we want to be in the final.

The Northern Rail has been given a facelift this season with the Championship clubs plus two from the lower division joining at the last 16 stage.

The Eagles beat Barrow 44-18 in the league last month.

Experienced prop Liam Higgins is edging closer to a recall as he recovers from an ankle injury and a calf strain that has kept him out for nearly two months. Forward Ben Gledhill, on loan from Salford Reds, will be available.

The Eagles will learn who they play in the quarter-finals of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup on Saturday morning. The draw will be made live on BBC Breakfast TV.

Warrington, meanwhile, will be without full-back Brett Hodgson for at least a fortnight after he was told he needs minor knee surgery.

The 35-year-old, formerly of Huddersfield Giants, has missed only one game so far this year but limped out of the Wolves’ 52-6 Challenge Cup win over Salford on Sunday.