Sheffield Eagles ready to “play tough” against Featherstone Rovers

Mark Aston
Mark Aston

Sheffield Eagles will again have to show their capability to adapt to different conditions as director of rugby Mark Aston primes his troops to get tough for Sunday’s showdown at Featherstone.  

On the 3G surface at the Olympic Legacy Park, conditions have allowed Aston to employ a free-flowing brand of play which has seen his side thump the likes of Swinton and Batley.

Inclement weather is likely to force Aston into a different approach at Post Office Road this Sunday, but the Eagles chief says his side have already shown their versatility in similar circumstances at Barrow.  He told The Star: “We might have to play tough this weekend against Featherstone, where the pitch could potentially be a bit of a bog again because of the heavy rain. We can do that though, we have shown we can adapt to conditions.”

Aston’s side, who last started a season with four straight wins in 1986, will look to maintain their 100% record against a Featherstone outfit whohave taken Wakefield half-back Ben Reynolds on loan. Rovers were defeated against Widnes last weekend, but are likely to be heavily strengthened by their dual-registration agreement with Leeds Rhinos.

Eagles have no new injury concerns. Aston confirmed he had doubts over former Featherstone pair Brad Knowles and Matt James, but both come through training this week, with Aston only expected to make slight tweaks to his unbeaten side.

“Everyone is good, we don't have any fresh injuries to contend with,” he added. “We had to have a check on Brad Knowles with his knee and Matty James with his groin, but they both came through training no problem. We are quite healthy at the moment which is good news.

“Brad just gets on with things. He may be a bit uncomfortable but he is a tough kid, he just gets on with it. There's a bit of swelling on the knee but by Sunday, it'll have settled down and he's already come through training fine. 

“We had Jimmy Davey back last week. He was comfortable, he came through the Batley game with no complaints so that's good news as well.”