Sheffield Eagles’ heavy mob bid to blast York out of Cup

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SHEFFIELD Eagles are ready to go route one and blast York City Knights out of the Challenge Cup.

Coach Mark Aston is planning to let loose the heavy mob of his forwards to lead the charge in the fourth round clash on Sunday (3pm).

York’s narrow Huntington Stadium pitch isn’t suited to the Eagles kicking game and more expansive attacking style.

Aston said: “It’s never an easy game at York because it’s a very tight and compact ground.

“You can’t play the expansive football we like so you have to go over them. York have some big lads and it’ll be difficult because if they make a defensive mistake it’s easily covered up.”

Eagles will go into the game as clear favourites after their 60-40 win at Featherstone Rovers. York are without a win in the league and lost 36-4 to the Eagles in the Rail Cup but that was at Don Valley.

“Halifax went there a couple of weeks ago and had a tough game so you can’t read anything into York’s results,” said Aston.

“It’s also the Challenge Cup and York are at home and will want to bounce back for their fans. Any team that’s going through a losing patch becomes a dangerous team.”

Aston could also be forced into changes through the spine of the team with full back Quentin Laulu-Togagae carrying a groin strain, stand-off Simon Brown has a back injury and prop Liam Finn suffering from a virus.

Prop Mitch Stringer is back after recovering from the virus that kept him out of the Featherstone game.

Hoping to get a call are York-born hooker or half-back Pat Smith and centre or back rower Duane Straugheir who played for the Knights last season. Winger Vinny Finigan and second rower Sam Scott are also on standby.

Aston said: “After last weekend’s result it will be difficult to changes many things. We’ll be checking on a few of the lads who got knocks at Featherstone but we’ll go to York with a big squad and loosen them up.”