Sheffield Eagles: Will Mark Aston’s men like to be beside the seaside for Summer Bash?

Mark Aston
Mark Aston
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This is a good time of the year for a trip to the seaside although Sheffield Eagles may have reservations about the destination.

All the Championship clubs head for Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road ground for an extra round of games played over two days.

It’s the first Summer Bash – the second tier’s kiss-me-quick version of Super League’s Magic Weekend.

The Rugby Football League’s worthies clearly see this as a mid-season chance to showcase the competition but the choice of venue could leave mud on their faces.

Over the football season the Bloomfield Road pitch became a soggy, sandy mass where grass seemed an endangered species.

That’s not going to make for the fast open rugby that coach Mark Aston aspires to and usually produces the satifactory results.

The consolation is that Sheffield play in the Bash’s second game against London Broncos (Saturday, kick-off 4.45pm) and after Whitehaven and Workington have done the initial gardening.

Eagles make the trip after tightening their grip on third place by battling out a tense 15-8 win over one of the chasing pack, Dewsbury Rams, in the rearranged game on Tuesday night.

In difficult conditions the game was marred by handling errors and the Eagles were constantly put on the back foot by conceding penalties.

A try from Scott Turner gave a 4-2 lead at the break and Menzie Yere increased that soon after the restart. Dewsbury drew level and Eagles nerves were finally calmed by a try from Rob Worrincy converted by Kyle Briggs eight minutes from time. Dominic Brambani made sure with a later drop goal.

London will offer an intriguing challenge by the seaside. Relegated from the Super League last season they have retained a full-time squad but have struggled.

Early in the season they came to the Keepmoat and were given a lesson in the realities of life in the Championship with the Eagles winning 40-6.

Since then there’s been a change of coach with Andrew Henderson taking over only months after retiring as a player with Sheffield. There have been squad changes and some improvement but they languish in seventh place after six wins in the first half of the season.

After the Blackpool trip the Eagles have two more away games at Hunslet and Batley and there’s no return to the Keepmoat until mid-July.

This season’s SatNav odyssey goes on with a second temporary home – rugby union club Doncaster Knight’s Castle Park – for the games against Whitehaven (now Saturday 13 June) and Workington (Sunday 29 June).