Sheffield Eagles wait on fitness of playmaker: Simon Brown

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SHEFFIELD Eagles will monitor the fitness of Simon Brown after the playmaker came off during the massive win at Featherstone Rovers.

Brown’s role as goal kicker was taken over by his half-back partner Dominic Brambani after half-time. The stand-off was substituted later.

Coach Mark Aston said: “It was a precaution. Simon strained his back. When you have two goal kickers like Simon and Dom Brambani the other can step in.

“We’ll be checking on Simon this week but it’s not serious, in a game like that there’s quite a lot of the lads a bit bashed.”

Brown’s field kicking is a major factor in the Eagles play and he’s the Championship’s leading place kicker with 20 goals this season and 39 in all competitions.

Prop Mitch Stringer missed the Rovers game with a virus but will be fit for the Challenge Cup fourth round game at York Knights at the weekend. Aston has cover in utility man Dane McDonald who replaced Brown during the second half of the 60-40 win at Featherstone, which lifted the Eagles to second place in the Championship.

The coach revealed that he was already considering the switch as the Eagles hit defensive problems and Rovers pulled the lead back to 44-40.

“Whether Simon had been injured or not we might have decided to try and tighten it up defensively,” said Aston. “Dane is a defensive six (stand-off) and strong.

“The plan might have been to give Simon a bit of a rest and get Dane out there to shore up our defence because we looked a bit leaky at times.”

McDonald did the job and sealed the game for the Eagles with a ball steal off Rovers’ Sam Smeaton that led to a try for Joe Hirst.

Aston added: “Dane looked good and Andrew Henderson played another 80 minutes, Michael Knowles had perhaps his best game since he joined us and Alex Rowe came off the bench and did a strong 15 minutes.”