Sheffield Eagles desperate to dodge the drop

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The relegation landscape can certainly change quickly in the Betfred Championship, but Sheffield Eagles know a big result this weekend against Swinton could all but seal their second-tier status.

Despite falling to a heavy defeat against Leigh Centurions last Sunday, defeats for Swinton and Rochdale ensured that the cushion held by Mark Aston’s side over the relegation trap-door remained at six points.

With Rochdale set to take on a strong Featherstone Rovers side this Sunday, Aston knows a victory would most likely open an eight-point advantage which would effectively confirm survival.

On the flip side Swinton, who will have home advantage, know that this weekend is a must win if they are to attempt to give their survival hopes some much-needed life, and are likely to come out all guns blazing.

After putting the Leigh game to one side, Aston says there was always an eye on this weekend, as he looks for a repeat of the result earlier in the season which saw his side win a close contest with a last-gasp drop-goal.

“It is good to get it (Leigh) out of the way and we can now focus on the weekend,” he said.

“The Swinton game is a big one for us. Then out of the last five games, four of them are at home.

“We are not kidding ourselves. Leigh are still a fine team, packed with talent. This weekend we certainly need to be picking it up. We need to get the win.”

With the teams at the bottom likely to be playing each other most weeks between now and the end of the season, Aston acknowledged the standings could change quickly if results go against the Eagles.

The experienced coach is being guarded against a Swinton backlash, knowing a defeat could open the door for a last gasp push for survival.

"The teams are all the playing each other now of course, and the results have seen Dewsbury go above us, but if Swinton had won then they would have only been four points behind coming into this weekend,” Aston said of the situation.

“It can change quickly. At the same time if we can win this weekend, then we would put ourselves well clear. If not, then it is all to play for again. It is a big game but one we are looking forward to.”