Injury woes increase pressure on Eagles

Hurt: Quentin Laulu-Togagae
Hurt: Quentin Laulu-Togagae

A MOUNTING injury list is casting a cloud over Sheffield Eagles’ hopes of ending their season with a late surge up the league.

A run of three home games offers the team a chance to build on signs of a revival before they go into the play-offs. The Eagles made sure of a top-six finish with a losing bonus point at Barrow Raiders but it came at a cost with an injury to stand-off Quentin Laulu-Togagae.

“We must keep the momentum going. I’ve been critical of the lads recently but I saw signs we are getting back to where we want to be at Barrow,” said coach Mark Aston. “We’ve got three tough league games left but they are all at Bramall Lane and we want to show our fans how we can play and get as high a finish as we can.”

Eagles return to the Lane after 11 weeks away when they face Batley Bulldogs on Sunday. That’s followed by visits from Featherstone and York before the play-offs. Eagles will be away from home in the play-offs unless they can squeeze into third/fourth spot.

Laulu-Togagae limped off with a hamstring strain after scoring his second try after 47 minutes of the 36-26 defeat by the Raiders. The Samoan broke down on return to the team and he joins back row forward Joe Hirst, who has a similar injury. Prop Alex Rowe is out with a broken arm.

Full-back Misi Taulapapa also needed treatment after the Barrow game for an ankle strain.

Eagles are in fifth place and could finish in third but that would need them to win all their games and Batley and Widnes to fail to get a point.