Sheffield Eagles: Aston’s men hoping to improve home form in double header

Mark Aston

Mark Aston

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Sheffield Eagles target the first leg of a home double tomorrow in the race for a play-off place.

They can’t afford any slip-ups when they face already relegated Swinton Lions at Owlerton Stadium

A week later another of the Championship’s strugglers Whitehaven are the visitors as the league season nears its climax.

Eagles have been boosted by the victory at fourth-placed Doncaster last weekend but home form had dragged them down with only three wins out of ten at the dog track.

With five league games left the Eagles are in seventh but only one point ahead of Keighley Cougars and Batley Bulldogs who each have 38.

Coach Mark Aston said: “Week in week out is a challenge for us this season because were are hot and cold, good and bad.

“It’s consistency that we have lacked and we need to get that because there’s still games to play and hopefully the play-offs.

“The challenge is to make sure we are good against Swinton and back that up the week after when Whitehaven are here.”

Club captain Mitch Stringer and Patch Walker who missed the Doncaster game have both trained this week and could be back in the squad for tomorrow’s game (2pm) if there’s no reaction.

Stringer has been carrying a knee injury all season and may need an operation in the winter.

Kyle Briggs is set to keep the stand-off role after impressing at Doncaster but the return of Walker would give options off the bench.

Aston believes Briggs has helped freshen up the team since his move from Featherstone. He added: “Kyle’s a dominant player and over the next few weeks hopefully we’ll see a lot more from him.

Swinton became the second of five teams to be relegated from the Championship this season following a home defeat by Keighley Cougars and have lost their last six games.

Their coach John Duffy is already building for 2015 and Aston feels the Lions will be out to cause an upset.

“They have got people who are trying to get contracts and they have good players on dual reg – people who can play. They are a threat and can score points.

“The pressure is off them. They will be coming to win and finish the season off on a high.

“The Eagles can complete a league double after winning the away game 30-16 in February.”